When a marriage or relationship ends, it can be difficult to determine the roles each parent will play in their children’s lives. Will one parent make decisions? Will the other parent be consulted? Will both parents share the responsibility of making decisions together?
With no answers to these questions, parenting can be frustrating for both the child and each parent. To reduce the likelihood of conflict and toxicity, its important to have a plan in place to discuss how decisions will be made moving forward, such as religious beliefs.
We will look at a variety of topics that parents should consider when creating a parenting plan. With the winter holiday season around the corner, we’ll look first at how to treat religion.
A Child’s Religious Upbringing
There is no strict rule about how to raise a child between separated parents of different faiths. According to the Canadian Bar Association, the courts generally uphold the approach of “what’s in the best interests of the child”.
This allows for the custodial parent to raise the child in one faith, and the access parent to share his or her beliefs with the child as well. The legal system will protect a child if there are health and safety risks that arise from the religious choices or education of each parent.
What Does This Mean For Parents?
If there are no apparent health of safety risks involved, then the custodial parent may raise a child as he or she sees fit, but may not prevent the access parent from sharing his or her religious beliefs. However, the courts can intervene if the access parent tries to interfere with the religious choices made by the custodial parent.
If you have questions about your agreed upon parenting plan, or your rights as the custodial or access parent, consult a family lawyer. He or she will be able to determine what actions you can take to resolve any issues with your child’s religious upbringing.