Choosing a religion for a child can be a contentious issue. This is especially true when the parents divorce or seek a court order for custody at an early age before a child has begun participating in religion.
However, a child’s religion can also come up as the child grows older and religion becomes more meaningful and demanding. For example, religious practices can interfere with parenting time and may also determine where a child will be schooled. A parent who practices the same religion as the child may request extra visitation for any number holy days, or sending a child to a religious camp may take away time from a parent.
Illinois Family Law on Religious Upbringing
The law provides the general framework on this issue, although each case is different and results can be somewhat unpredictable.
The law defines religious upbringing as:
- The choice of religion or denomination of a religion;
- Religious schooling;
- Religious training; or
- Participation in religious customs or practices.
The law first states that if the parties agree in writing on the religious upbringing of the children at issue, the court will honor that agreement. If the parties cannot agree, the court will determine the issue of religion in the best interests of the child in the following manner:
- The court will look to see if there has been an expressed or implied agreement between the parties on the issue in the past.
- If there is no express or implied agreement, the court will look at the parents’ past conduct on the issue.
- The court will not allocate any aspect of a child’s religious upbringing if it determines that the parents did not have an express or implied agreement or there is insufficient evidence to prove a course of conduct that the parties had been participating in.
Contact a Skokie Child Support Attorney
No matter what stage of parental responsibility proceedings you are in, our attorneys can help. If you are just setting out to reach an agreement with your ex, our firm can ensure that you leave with a workable solution for your family.
If you have had a custody order or informal arrangement for years but find yourself fighting with your ex over your child’s religious upbringing, our lawyers can bring years of family law experience to determine what paths may be available to you.
Just because you retain a lawyer does not mean you will end up in court. It is possible to reach an agreement among all interested parties without retaining experts, calling witnesses and leaving the ultimate decision up to a judge.
Cal the accomplished Elmhurst, IL child support lawyers of Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC at 312-605-4041 to schedule your first meeting today.