Child Custody: February 2008 Archives

February 13, 2008

Judgment Day: Religious Issues on the Rise in Custody Cases


The New York Times reports today that custody fights involving the religious upbringing and education of children are on the rise. "'Part of that is there has been an increase of conflicts between parents across the board...'" combined with the increased willingness of Americans to marry outside their family's faith and to convert to another religion when they marry, says the chair of the custody committee of the American Bar Association's family law section.

As noted in the New York Times article and this article on the Nolo website, religion is a difficult issue for a court to decide. Issues of free speech and freedom of religion battle with the rights of both parents to guide their children's upbringing. As with most custody disputes, religious wars are best settled through mediation or other non-court means -- and many courts require mediation before parties are allowed to bring their disputes before a judge.