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Legal Custody (Religion):

Parents With Joint Legal Custody are

Obligated to Communicate and Cooperate

in matters surrounding the Educational, Medical and Religious Welfare of The Child


If you review the definition of joint legal custody, you will find that where parents have joint legal custody: they are required to communicate and cooperate in reaching shared decisions regarding the medical, educational and religious issues surrounding the child(ren).

Perhaps you can guess that religion is the least frequent point of disagreement. Based on my experience it is only a point of disagreement in less than ten percent (10%) of my cases and only a litigation point in about one percent.

Part of that is because religious orientations are usually the same with both parents. I don’t think I am going out on a limb to suggest that children are usually born to people with similar religious convictions both in nature and degree. I have not had a case where Father was Episcopalian and mother was a Satanist. A lively household to be sure, but not statistically meaningful.

More often than not the religion issue is more of degree than of complete divergence. With some frequency Frederick Maryland custody lawyers are called upon to handle cases where one parent wants a religious school and the other parent does not. Nevertheless even that, in my experience, has been more of a money issue than a real religious objection.

I find the religious issue is more common with young parents who are practically children themselves. Their respective grandparents have their own ideas about the religious upbringing of the grandchildren.

Differences of faith do arise but standing alone it is almost never a “deal breaker.”

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