When you and your spouse do not share a common religion, it can further complicate your divorce especially when you both wish to share your religion and cultural traditions with your child. The good news is that even though you both have differing religious views, there are ways to share custody and religion.
In divorce proceedings, the courts tend to leave religion out of the equation unless you or your spouse bring up concerns about how the other’s religious preferences may be endangering the welfare of your child. With most courts leaving it to parents to decide, more couples seem to be agreeing to raise their children with two religions. Some people may argue that children raised with two faiths may grow up confused. However, that may not always be the case because if you are an interfaith couple and decide to raise your child with two religions, it can benefit him or her through promoting the following:
Clarity About Differences
If you are an interfaith couple and force your child into identifying with only one religion, he or she may struggle with feeling guilty or angry on behalf of the parent that now practices a different religion. The good news is that if you encourage your child to practice multiple religions, he or she may not develop this animosity towards one parent. Initially, your child may feel a bit confused because he or she is practicing two religions. However, the idea is that in the end, your child will feel less confused because he or she is learning more about differences.
You can teach your child an invaluable lesson by encouraging him or her to practice and learn about two separate religions. Children will often identify and appreciate the respect you show them by helping them to make their own decisions regarding their religion. Contrary to what some couples may believe, agreeing to raise interfaith children does not have to be viewed as a compromise but more of a liberalizing decision. Lead by example and teach your child a valuable life lesson about respect and when the time comes, honor his or her decision to choose.
Deciding to raise your child as interfaith does not mean you will mesh the two religions together. Instead, you will help your child learn about and understand two different faiths. In doing this, you can contribute to teaching him or her about multiculturalism and the importance of acceptance in the world.
Teaching your child about two religions promotes the idea that there is always more to learn and can consequently lead him or her to become more inquisitive and ask more questions. Asking questions will help your child learn and is an important habit of innovative thinkers, and who does not want his or her child to be a creative thinker?
As you can see, there are many benefits to raising an interfaith child. However, the reality is that not everyone can agree to these terms. If you and your spouse are unable to agree to your child’s religious pursuits, and you require legal assistance, contact the Law Office of Julia Ann Brungess. We are here to help with collaboration, mediation and if needed, litigation.