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Parental Responsibility: Choosing Your Child's Religion

Posted on in Child Custody

parental-responsibilityMost parents choose a child's religion before the child is born. For many, the religion in which their children will be raised is determined before the couple marries – this, along with plans regarding whether one parent will stay home with the children and whether to home school or send the children to public school, can be a divisive factor to the point that it becomes a deal breaker for some couples.

Under the changes to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act that went into effect on January 1st, handling a child's religious upbringing is one of the parental responsibilities that the court assigns during a divorce proceeding. The parent who is granted this responsibility may then choose how the child is raised religiously, such as whether the child will attend regular church services or participate in certain religious traditions. When a couple of different faiths divorces, their child's religious upbringing can be a source of conflict. Work with a family law attorney to minimize this conflict in your divorce and subsequent relationship with your former spouse.

How Does the Court Assign Religion as a Parental Responsibility?

As with other determinations of parental responsibilities, the court tries to assign religious upbringing with the child's best interest in mind. If the child has previously participated in a religion and thrived in this environment, the court will most likely keep this upbringing in place and assign this responsibility to the parent who appears to be better equipped to facilitate it.

In cases where parents settle their divorce on their own, the court does not usually have to make this determination. In many cases, parents decide together how their children will continue to be raised with regard to his or her faith after their divorce and write this into their parenting agreement.

Are Your or Your Spouse's Religious Practices Harmful to Your Child?

If one parent feels that the other's religious practices are somehow harming the couple's child, he or she may petition to the court to have the court examine these practices and determine if any harm is occurring.

If the parent who does not have religion as one of his or her parental responsibilities attempts to have the child follow his or her religion, rather than the one of the parent who holds this responsibility, he or she is committing contempt of court. This can lead to an alteration of a parenting time order or changes to one's parental responsibilities.

Family Attorneys in Kane County

With the changes that are coming to how the courts handle the division of parenting duties among divorced parents, it is important that you understand the court makes these determinations. It is also important that you work with an experienced Kane County family attorney to ensure that you are presented fairly and accurately to the court. To get started on your case with our firm, contact the Goostree Law Group today to schedule your legal consultation with us.

 

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=2086&ChapterID=59&SeqStart=8300000&SeqEnd=10000000

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