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Who decides what faith your children follow if you share custody?

On Behalf of | Jan 6, 2023 | Child Custody |

Falling in love with someone from another religion may never have seemed like a problem to you. What mattered most was their sense of morality and their faithful observance of their religion, not necessarily which church they attended.

The two of you may have been able to bridge the gap between your religions throughout your relationship, but that can prove very challenging once you end your romantic involvement. If you have children with one another, the difference in your religions will continue to be a concern for your entire family.

Which parent gets to decide the faith that the children observe and what church they attend in a shared custody scenario?

Parents usually share decision-making authority

It is common for judges handling contested custody matters in Texas to order parents to share both time with the children and authority regarding their lives. Typically, judges expect parents to cooperate. That means they need to attempt to reach an agreement on important matters related to their children.

Unfortunately, that may not be easy to do if the two of you can’t seem to agree on what church the children will attend every week. You may need to compromise, allowing the children to actively participate in both faiths depending on which parent has them at any given time.

In some cases, especially when the faith community is particularly traditional or strict, parents may have to choose. If they are unable to agree, then they may have to go to court. A  judge may rule either on which parent has the final say on the matter or they may make a decision regarding the church the children attend.

Although it can be hard to do, the best outcomes for divorcing parents are usually the result of compromise and cooperation. When you realize that a judge wants to see the two of you cooperating and is unlikely to grant either of you sole control over a child’s choices, it may be easier for you to find a way to compromise with one another and work out a cooperative and functional parenting plan.

Having the right attitude that focuses on what the children need for their health and happiness will make it easier for you and their other parent to handle the challenges of custody negotiations.