RELIGIOUS CONSIDERATIONS WHEN CO-PARENTING AFTER DIVORCE

Texas couples get divorced for a multitude of reasons, which can include infidelity, irreconcilable differences or even fraud. One reason for the dissolution of a marriage that gets little media attention is religion. Among those marriages where the individuals practice differing faiths, divorce rates are high. Even if practicing the same faith, when one parent is more devout than the other, issues can arise in co-parenting both during marriage and after a divorce.

Among parents, differing opinions about health care, finances, education and extracurricular activities, as well as conflicts surrounding religion, can make co-parenting after divorce very difficult. It is important for parents to find a way to compromise during and after a divorce. Co-parenting with different religious views can be successful if parents are willing to compromise for the well-being of the children.

Some ways to make co-parenting more successful in order to lessen the negative impact to children all include compromise and respect. Parents should refrain from speaking negatively about the other parent and their religious views. When a parent remarries, it is important the religious views of their new spouse are also respected. Each parent should have an opportunity to share religious holidays they find most important with their children.

Faith-based conversations can often lead to passionate debate; however, when co-parenting after a divorce, the debate should not involve the children. Decisions should be made with respect to both parents’ religious views and, when possible, decisions made regarding faith could be placed in custody documents. This provides ground rules for Texas parents to follow and allows for the most consistency in parenting. These are all considerations that can be made and provided for when negotiating a divorce settlement.