Having two different faiths does not mean that you must decide over what beliefs your children would be taught. As your children grow older, they might seem to become new people. The things that they love and enjoy as well as those that they do not enjoy are both things that might change frequently and quickly throughout development. Religious identification is often something that stays the same with children from the time that they are young until they are adults. So, what happens when two parents split and want to each raise their own child in their own faith? There needs to be a decision made that is in the best interest of the children involved.
When Religion Becomes an Issue
Most of the time when two people meet and marry, they end up deciding one religion to follow and raise their children with. This means that religion is commonly a non-issue for children. However, there are some religion issues that might happen when you are going through a divorce. When parents are no longer together, they might decide that it is best for them to return to their own religious upbringing from their childhood. This can mean two different and sometimes conflicting religions for a child. At this point, religion can become an issue that needs to be handled as part of a divorce.
Understanding What Parents Can Decide for their Child
The first thing that parents need to understand and realize is that their children are able to choose their own religion. The thing that they can determine through custody arrangements is the type of religious education and teaching that the child will have. Obviously, this can increase the chances of the child choosing that religion for their own faith when they are older. However, it does not mean that this is the choice that the child will make. In the world we live in today, your child will be exposed to all types of people from a wide variety of religious backgrounds. So regardless of what they are taught, they could end up choosing a religion all their own when they become an adult.
What You Need to Solve Religious Issues for Your Child
The first thing that you need to do is show respect to your ex. Even if the two of you have practiced one faith the entire time that you have been together, your ex still has the right to choose what faith they will practice. You need to be respectful anytime that you speak of your ex’s religious preferences, especially when you are talking to your child.
There are several things that you need to think about as you are negotiating religion with your ex. Instead of teaching your child that there is only one right religion, make sure that you teach your child to keep an open mind. Exposing your child to different faiths will allow them to understand that there are different viewpoints. This will teach them to be more tolerant adults and to have compassion for those who think differently than they do.
Another consideration to think about is the prevalent religion where your child is being raised. If there is one religion that is more prominent in the community, then this might be the best choice for the child while they are young. Also, think about the family members who practice a specific faith. Are your children close to them? Who will be more involved in your child’s life and what religion do they practice? Thinking about these considerations will help you determine what is really going to be best for the children involved.
Finally, you have to think about where the child is going to reside. If the child is primarily going to be with one parent, then it might make more sense for them to have that parent’s religion.
All considerations can be made prior to heading into a courtroom. If you cannot agree then you can go before a judge and have them help you to decide what is best for the children whereas religion is concerned.