Several years ago, there was a major overhaul to Illinois family law statutes. This included the statute that addressed child custody. Part of that change involved eliminating the phrase child custody and replacing it with the phrase “allocation of parental responsibilities.” When parents are splitting up, they must either come to an agreement – or the court will decide for them – about which parent is responsible for making certain decisions for the child, including which religion the child will be brought up in.
It can be difficult to choose a religion for a child. This is particularly true if parents go through the divorce process when a child is young and has not yet begun partaking in a certain religion. Religion can also be difficult in a divorced family when a child grows up and becomes more involved in a religion. For instance, religion may play a role in where a child attends school. Religious activities and events may also interfere with parenting time.
The law considers religious upbringing as the choice of religion, religious schooling, religious training, or the participation in religious practices or customs. If spouses agree on the religious upbringing of their child, the court will honor their agreement.
However, if both spouses are unable to agree on the religious upbringing of the child, the court will step in and make a decision. They will look at several factors to determine what type of religious upbringing is in the best interest of the child.
One of the main issues the court will examine is whether the couple has discussed religious upbringing in the past and if there has been an implied agreement. If there has not been an implied agreement, the court will examine how each spouse dealt with religion in their day-to-day life.
Religious upbringing becomes even more complicated in divorces that involve interfaith couples. In these situations, it can be difficult to determine whether a child will practice two religions, one religion, or no religion. If a couple is unable to agree on their child’s religious future, a judge may make a decision that is based on the child’s best interest. If the child is older, a judge may ask them which religion they prefer to participate in.
If you are ending your marriage, you want to make sure you have a skilled Naperville custody attorney protecting your parental rights. Call J. Aldrich Law, P.C. at 630-953-3000 to schedule a free consultation and find out how we can help.