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How Your Parenting Plan Can Determine Religious Upbringing

How Your Parenting Plan Can Determine Religious UpbringingYour parenting schedule is only one part of the parenting plan that you will create during your divorce or separation. The plan also states who is allowed to make decisions regarding your children, including their religious upbringing. This means that the plan can tell you which religious beliefs and customs your children should follow, as long as they are conscionable. Parents are encouraged to come to an agreement on religious upbringing, but this can be a contentious subject if you have different religious beliefs than your co-parent. The family law court can make its own ruling on religious upbringing if you cannot reach an agreement.

Points of Contention

Your agreement on religious upbringing may include instructions on:

  • Attending regular religious services
  • Following customs at home
  • Sending your children to a religious school
  • Allowing trips out of the country to visit religious sites

You may come into conflict with your co-parent if you disagree on which religion your children should follow or how much of a role religion should have in your children’s lives. Attending religious services may also interfere with your parenting time. For instance, a parent whose time with the children is during the weekend may not want to spend their Sunday mornings attending church if they are not religious. If your co-parent shows a sudden increased interest in religion following your divorce, it is possible that they are using religion as a way to control the children and gain more parenting time.

Court Decisions

One of the most important questions that the court will ask when ruling on religious upbringing in a divorce is: How were your children involved with religion before your divorce? If your children have regularly participated in religious services and customs, it may harm them if you suddenly take it away. You may need to adjust your parenting schedule to allow them to attend a weekly religious service at their regular place of worship. On the other hand, forcing a religious upbringing on children who have little experience with religion may be unhealthy for them – especially if it interferes with their time with one of their parents.

Contact a DuPage County Divorce Lawyer

It is not uncommon for parents to disagree on religious upbringing during a divorce. You may have had a mixed-faith marriage, or one of you may have had more interest in religion than the other. A Naperville, Illinois, divorce attorney at Calabrese Associates, P.C., will help you reach a resolution on religious upbringing that is best for your children. Schedule a consultation by calling 630-393-3111.


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