Religious Disputes and Custody Agreements in Illinois

 Posted on September 13, 2016 in Child Custody

religious dispute, DuPage County family law attorneysInterfaith marriages are increasingly common in the U.S. and in Illinois. As more people enter into interfaith relationships and marriages, the number of interfaith divorces and custody disputes also increases.

Religious disputes are also common between former spouses who belong to different denominations of the same religion, or between divorcing parents who have different levels of involvement with their faiths, whether they practice the same religion or not. In some cases, religious differences may even have been a factor for couples deciding whether to move forward with divorce proceedings.

If you are involved in a divorce or custody dispute and anticipate that religion may become a hot-button issue in your divorce, one of our experienced family law attorneys can help you prepare to address these difficult matters in court, mediation, or negotiation with your child's other parent.

Interfaith Marriage Facts in Illinois

Younger people and those who have recently been married are most likely to be in an interfaith marriage. One religious landscape study conducted by the Pew Research Center found that almost 40 percent of all persons married since 2010 have married a person of a different faith. The largest percentage of interfaith marriages - 18 percent - are between Christians and persons who identify as "religiously unaffiliated."

What Types of Religious Disputes Are Common for Divorcing Parents?

Religious disputes for divorcing partners typically center around how the children will be raised and what religion they will practice following the divorce. Some of the issues the court is often asked to address include:

  • What religion will the children practice?
  • How do religious holidays impact parenting time?
  • What religious education will the children receive? Will they attend religious schools?
  • Will the children observe their religious practices while with their non-practicing parent? What happens when religious activities interfere with parenting time?
  • How often will the children participate in religious activities, aside from worship services?
  • Will the children be permitted to leave the state or country for religiously-affiliated trips and mission work, and if so, how will this impact the parenting plan?
  • What happens if one parent is speaking disparagingly about the child's religion?
  • Will the children wear the religious dress, accessories or symbols encouraged by their religion?
  • How and when will religious rites, traditions, sacraments, and celebrations take place, and will the child's "other side" of the family play any role in these important moments in the child's life?

Consult an Experienced Family Law Attorney Who Handles Religious Disputes and Custody Cases

These matters listed above are only some of the issues that may arise between divorcing parents of different religious traditions. Resolving religious disputes can be extremely complex, and it is always simpler when the parents are willing to make reaching an agreement a priority.

Negotiations can become quite tense since religious disputes often carry a lot of emotional significance. Our compassionate and understanding DuPage County family law attorneys can be by your side throughout the divorce process to make sure that your child's best interest is being served.


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