It’s desirable that parents are able to create a parenting plan that works for all parties and to which all parties can agree. But this is often not the case. Parents may disagree on a litany of different issues, such as who gets the children on certain holidays or what after-school activities they may join. But one of the most heated disputes that might arise involves the religious upbringing.
So who gets to choose a child’s religious upbringing and decide to which religion the child belongs? Below is a brief overview of religious disputes in child custody cases in Plano and elsewhere in Texas.
Conservatorship in Texas & Child’s Religion
Custody in Texas is referred to as conservatorship. There are two types: managing and possessory. A managing conservator enjoys access to the child as well as legal rights to make important decisions in the child’s life.
A possessory conservator only enjoys access to the child. A court may assign managing conservatorship to both parents (joint) or to one parent (sole). In the case of the former, both parents are able to decide important matters related to the child’s life and each has access to the child. One parent may be the primary managing conservator and may decide the child’s primary residence.
If only one parent is a managing conservator, then that parent can decide the child’s religious upbringing. But if both parents are managing conservators and disagree about religious upbringing, disputes might arise.
How does the court resolve religious disputes between parents?
As with any child custody dispute, the court prefers that the parents come to an agreement amongst themselves. But a family court in Plano may decide the matter if need be.
First and foremost, the court will determine the best interests of the child. That becomes more complicated and challenging in a dispute in which the best interests of the child may conflict with religious rights. Under the First Amendment, every person has the right to practice the religion of his or her choice and include his or her children. Those rights are at risk when such disputes arise about how to raise the children.
Needless to say, the court must walk a very fine line between protecting the best interests of the child and the parents’ right to religious freedom. If religious practices interfere with school or put the child in danger, the court may take action. Otherwise, it may leave the issue to the parents. If you’re facing such a dispute, review the pertinent details with your attorney.
Get Help with Child Custody and Religion Disputes from Warren & Migliaccio in Plano
Questions of child custody and parenting plan issues are often complicated and emotional in nature. When such disputes arise, it’s important to get legal advice to help protect your rights and interests as a parent while safeguarding the best interests of your child. If you are currently facing a child custody dispute, speak to Warren & Migliaccio today. Call 888-584-9614 to schedule an appointment with a lawyer at our firm.