If the mother of my child has legal custody, can the court still allow me to take my child to church?
In most states, there are two types of custody: physical and legal. Physical custody refers to the time the child spends with each parent, and legal custody refers to the ability to make major decisions regarding the child’s upbringing.
In Missouri, if the parents share joint legal custody they must consult each other and agree before making major decisions regarding the child’s healthcare, schooling and religious upbringing, among other things.
If one parent has sole legal custody, then they are able to make these major decisions whether or not the other parent agrees.
If the mother of your child has sole legal custody, then she can make the decision of whether she wants your child to be brought up with your religion.
If she does not have a problem with the child being influenced by your religion, then the only thing that would effect whether the child can go to church with you is whether or not the physical custody arrangement, or an agreement between you and your child’s mother, provides that the time you are attending church falls within your parenting time.
Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than tips on your situation, so please consult a domestic litigation attorney in your area to obtain specific advice as to the laws in your state and how they impact your potential case.
Mat Camp is a former Lexicon Services Online Editor, who focused on providing a comprehensive look into all aspects of the divorce experience. On MensDivorce.com, he concentrated on issues, such as parenting time, custodial rights, mediation, the division of assets, and so much more.
Mr. Camp used the wealth of experience of Cordell & Cordell attorneys to bring tangible answers to reader questions in Ask a Lawyer articles, as well as offer a step by step process through the divorce experience with Cordell & Cordell Co-Founder and Principal Partner Joseph E. Cordell in Divorce 101: A Guide for Men.
Mr. Camp used thorough research to highlight the challenging reality that those who go through divorce or child custody issues face. He helped foster the continued success of the Men’s Divorce Survival Guide, the Men’s Divorce Podcast, and the Men’s Divorce YouTube series “Attorney Bites.”