How joint legal custody works when the parents’ religions differ

If the court awards joint legal custody, both parents have the legal authority to make major life decisions for their child, including those related to their religious upbringing. There generally is no issue when both parents share the same religion. However, it may be confusing for those who do not. How does it work?

Meeting halfway

Parents can coordinate and discuss how they will deal with their religious differences, with their child’s best interests as the main priority. There are several ways they can resolve the issue, such as allowing each other to teach their child their respective religious beliefs or agreeing to raise the child in the one religion they were used to before the parents’ separation. As long as both parents are amicable and open to meeting halfway, they can resolve the concern between themselves.

Letting the court decide

If the parents’ religious differences have been an issue even during the custody determination and they cannot agree on an arrangement, the court can decide for them. It is possible for the court to allow shared legal custody except for religion-related decisions and assign one parent sole legal custody on that aspect. The judge will consider several factors, primarily the child’s best interests, to make their decision.

Exploring options while prioritizing your child

Whether you decide to settle custody terms with your coparent privately or have the court decide for you, it is crucial that you understand your custody rights as a parent to protect them effectively. Additionally, you have to put your child’s well-being at the core of your decisions. Only then can you find a workable solution to the issue.


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