Pretty often in our Allegheny County child custody cases the parents are of different religions. Though this normally isn't an issue during the marriage or relationship, it quickly becomes an issue during the break-up, as both parents push to have the children take up the religion they practice. If the case is taken to family court, Judges often stay away from discussing the issues of religion. However, when parties reach a settlement outside of court, their attorneys can draft agreements keeping religious practices in mind.
As mentioned, child custody matters, like all other Pennsylvania family law cases, can be decided in court or out of court, when parties are seeking a tailored divorce settlement in Allegheny County, staying out of court will allow this agreement to be more specific on issues that are specific to them.
These include deciding what religious holidays the children will celebrate, which parent will have custody on each religious holiday, and how the parents' are handling the religious practice issues in their custody dispute.
For this very reason we advise our clients to attempt to settle their cases without the involvement of the court. We know this isn't a possibility in every case, but if the parties are able to set aside their differences for the best interest of their children. They are the ones that know the children best and what kind of religion the family practiced during the marriage, so only they will know what will be most beneficial to the children in the long term.
Resolving custody issues via agreement is really the only way for parents to have full control over issues such as religion. Additionally, there are many other issues which can be decided by the parents that a judge may be hesitant to deal with. This is another reason we feel that all our clients with PA child custody cases should attempt to reach a resolution via an agreement.
Contact our Pittsburgh-based family law firm today if you have questions regarding custody and how our Pittsburgh attorneys can structure a divorce settlement agreement addressing your religious practices and how these will affect your children.