Courts will look at a number of different factors when determining child custody arrangements, including education, health care, extracurricular activities, residence and religion. Religion has some particularly unique guidelines that courts need to follow and enforce both during and after the divorce.
It’s not uncommon for one parent to want to change their religion after a divorce, which is fine. But there are rules in place that prohibit them from forcing a denomination change on their children.
When judges examine issues of religion in a divorce, they’ll first determine what the “status quo religion” is for the children. This is the religion that the parents chose for the children when they were still married and making decisions together. Neither parent is allowed to make a change from that status quo religion without either the consent of the other parent or the permission of the courts.
If the parents did not choose a religion for the child, then the status quo religion is just “no religion.” The same rules apply; neither parent is allowed to enroll their children in a religious denomination without the approval of the other or the permission of the courts.
If a parent does decide to change religion after a divorce, he or she does have the right to tell their child about the change and explain their new religion to them. However, they are not allowed to force their children to undergo the same religious conversion or to talk bad about the other parent’s religion in hopes of influencing the children’s views.
For more information and guidance on how courts address religion in child custody arrangements, consult the experienced Minnesota divorce and family law attorneys at Appelhoff, Pfeiffer & Hart, P.A.
"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.