Religion and Co-Parenting

Click below to share this on social media:

Our Pittsburgh child custody lawyers know that co-parenting with your ex after divorce is always complicated in even the most amicable relationships, with different schedules, obligations, and the need to communicate details more frequently and with more notice than if in the same house. It can become worse when religion enters the mix.

Intermarriage between people of different faiths is on the rise, accompanied by a higher divorce rate for people of different faiths. However, it can be problematic even in the case of people of the same faith, but different levels of observance. Maybe one parent keeps kosher and does not drive on Saturday, while the other parent does not follow those rules. One parent might go to Mass every Sunday, while the other parent might only go on Easter. However, while these differences might complicate a marriage and custody time, negotiation can resolve the issue in a way that will work for all parties involved.

If the parents are of different religions, or one parent is an atheist and does not celebrate any holidays and the other parent does, then the parents can divide up the holidays so that each parent has the child for their important celebrations. If it is the case that the holidays may conflict, then you can devise a year by year schedule, with one parent getting the children for their holiday one year, and the other parent the next. If only one parent is concerned about celebrating the holidays, then they could have custody of the children on the religious holidays, while the other parent can have custody on the national holidays, such as Labor Day and the Fourth of July.

If both parents are celebrating the same holidays, then it may be possible to divide up the holiday into parts. For example, if both parents are celebrating Ramadan (which lasts for a month) then perhaps the month can be divided, or one parent has custody for most of the month, while the other exercises custody for the large celebration at the end called Eid al-Fitr. If both parents celebrate Easter, then perhaps one parent can exercise custody on Easter Sunday, while the other parent gets Palm Sunday and Ash Wednesday. The parents can switch the next year. For Passover, which lasts for eight days, each parent can have four consecutive days, and hold a second seder later in the week to allow the child to participate.

Religion and child custody have a difficult and sometimes complicated relationship. Your Pittsburgh family law attorneys know how to negotiate, and if necessary litigate, to get a fair division of time that reflects important days for your family. Contact our team about your custody matter today!