Search Site
Menu
Can Religion Affect Child Custody Arrangements?

In most cases, the court will not use the religious beliefs of one parent as a primary determinant for child custody arrangements. However, that doesn’t mean religion won’t factor into custody decisions at all—just that it is likely to be one of a multitude of factors.

For religion to be one of the primary determining factors, it would almost have to be a situation in which there would be evidence that the child being brought up in a certain religious environment would be harmful or even abusive to the child.

What qualifies as a “harmful” religious environment?

Judges will generally not limit the religious activities of a parent unless there is proof they could cause substantial harm to the child. The religion being highly demanding is not enough of a standard—courts will not prevent parents from raising a child in a religion that has stringent rules for dress, diet or behavior.

Courts will also not take issue with a child being exposed to different religions depending on the home they’re staying in. Custody orders will generally not limit which religious activities a child can participate in if the parents both practice different religions.

If, however, there is any evidence that religious activities or environments could cause mental, emotional or physical harm to a child, then the court may take action to limit the child’s exposure to that religion. In such a case, the custody arrangements would likely favor the parent who did not practice that allegedly harmful religion. Keep in mind the standard for actual harm in such cases is a high one; it will be rare that a court rules a religion or religious environment does, in fact, pose a danger to a child.

If you have any questions about the issues that go into determining child custody arrangements, we encourage you to contact an experienced Minnesota divorce lawyer at Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A.

Our Attorneys
Client testimonials
  • "Tori had a thorough understanding of my situation and made excellent recommendations to resolve my concerns. She was persistent on communication and handled everything in a very timely manner. I would definitely hire her again in the future if needed." - M.K.

  • "With Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A., it is like having a family physician. They are all knowledgeable, thorough, comforting, and the only call I need to make for all my legal needs for many years to come. No matter what the matter, I totally trust their advice and commitment to me and my family." - J.N.

  • "Mary from APH Law helped me thru a difficult divorce. She and the entire staff was there for me every step of the way helping me on what to do next. They listened to what I wanted and helped me achieve what matter the most to me in the divorce settlement." - Dana C.

  • "I chose APH after my initial consultation with Mary. I felt my best interest would be represented. The entire process went excellent, the attorneys and staff communicated effectively and efficiently with me throughout the process as they needed to. Being new to the legal process and verbiage, they walked me and talked me through the next steps and the jargon, I felt completely comfortable and represented. I hope I never have to use legal services again but if I do I will call Mary at APH Law and know that I will be taken care of." - Jeff M.

  • "Divorce is a time of emotion and stress. Mary Pfeifer , My lawyer was professional and compassionate. She was very informative through the process. Her insight helped me in my decisions. She worked hard to obtain a settlement which was fair to both parties. Though, I hope I won't need her help again. It is reassuring to know a good person that is willing to help." - Rod S.

  • "I first came to Ms. Jacquelyn Lutz of Appelhof, Pfeifer and Hart in October of 2016. It was definitely the worst time in my life and she compassionately spoke with me about my options. Ms. Lutz thoroughly explained the laws, statutes, process and what to expect going forward. What was supposed to be one case, turned into three intricate cases that took a huge toll on me and my family. Ms. Lutz represented me in court on all three cases with a vast knowledge of the laws and how to proceed accordingly. During all three cases she kept me informed, calm, gave me resources to utilize, and (most important) gave me a realistic view of what may come next. Ms. Lutz knew each case required a great deal of knowledge and creative thinking on how to legally proceed forward with each case. My family and friends are forever grateful for the amazing representation by Ms. Lutz. I highly recommend Ms. Lutz for anyone needing or considering superb representation for any kind of family law. " - M.H.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION


superlawyers
Contact us

Quick Contact Form