An important issue that sometimes comes up in Utah child custody cases is religion. Maybe one parent practices one faith, while the other parent practices another. Or maybe both parents practice the same faith, but one parent observes particular religious tenets while the other parent doesn’t. In any case, child custody and visitation arrangements should always be based on the best interests of the children.
It is completely understandable that each parent will want to adhere to his or her belief system, as well as pass religious (or secular) values on to their children; So, when it comes to visitation schedules, how can parents compromise in matters of faith?
With many religions, the issues to consider in child custody are clothing, food and the observance of other religious practices such as prayer and holidays. When there is a conflict, these are not easy matters to confront, but if parents want to avoid going to family court, it is important to remember that compromise is usually necessary.
Parents trying to set up a workable visitation schedule often have to address the question of where the children will go on certain holidays. Children, and especially younger ones, depend on routine for a sense of stability, so divorcing parents may want to establish exactly which religious holidays will be observed at which residence. Even if a sudden change of plans is necessary, that issue can be addressed when the time comes. In any case, it is better to have a plan in place rather than assume life will go smoothly.
The in-house observance of religious tenets is another issue that sometimes leads to conflict between parents. This issue can perhaps be even more contentious than parenting time on religious holidays. If parents have child custody and visitation concerns related to religious practices, then consulting with a Utah family law attorney may be helpful in understanding exactly what rights parents have.