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My former partner and I have different religious beliefs – what does this mean for my child?

Sometimes separated parents may have differing views regarding religion and cultural issues which can lead to parental conflict, especially during the festive season.

In most situations, it is presumed that both parents share parental responsibility for the children of the relationship.  This means that parents should consult each other about major long term issues regarding the children and make a concerted effort to reach joint decisions regarding these issues.  One of the major long term issues to be considered is the children’s religious and cultural upbringing.

When the Family Courts make parenting orders, the best interests of the child is the paramount consideration. The Court will consider a range of factors in relation to a child’s best interests including “the maturity, sex, lifestyle and background (including lifestyle, culture and traditions) of the child and of either of the child’s parents”.   Hence, the Court considers a child’s religious and cultural background to be an important factor that needs to be taken into consideration.

The Family Courts prefer the parties to resolve any religious differences amongst themselves and are reluctant to make Orders in lieu of that decision making. Caroline Counsel Family Lawyers can provide you with tailored advice regarding your situation and equip you with practical skills that you can use to negotiate with your former partner regarding important issues like the religious and cultural upbringing of your children.

If necessary, we can assist in drafting a parenting plan or parenting orders which can support you and your former partner to make decisions that are in the best interests of your children.  You should contact our office to make an appointment on 9320 3900 or email ccteam@ccfamlaw.com.au.

The information in this blog does not constitute legal advice and cannot be relied upon by you. If you require advice specific to your situation you must contact Caroline Counsel Family Lawyers for legal advice.  The contents of this blog are relevant as at 8 December 2017.  We recommend you obtain specific advice relevant to you and your family’s situation.

By Caroline Counsel and Michelle Petrovski

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