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Religious Differences & Co-Parenting

Tips to help co-parents navigate religious differences.

Parenting with religious differences can create unique challenges for couples. The incidence of divorce among interfaith couples is higher than the rate for same-faith marriages.  

This is part of the reason why co-parenting with religious differences is becoming more common

Many times, religion is a sensitive issue, often deeply rooted in a person’s life or family history. Balancing between two religions with your children can lead to a high-conflict co-parenting relationship if the proper steps aren’t taken.   
Porchlight recommends some key topics that you and your co-parent can discuss regarding religion:  
  • What religious morals or core values are important to each parent 
  • ​How might religion play a part in other decision making, such as education or medical related choices 
  • What faith-based activities or restrictions are important to each parent, and will these be enforced in both homes 
  • Which holidays or religious traditions does each parent want the child to observe 
  • How might the observation of holidays or events impact the custody schedule 
Showing respect to one another during these conversations is crucial. How you handle religion in your co-parenting relationship could eventually play a role in how your child views their faith as well. 

Letting your kids have a voice is equally beneficial 

As your children grow older, they should also have a say in many of these conversations. Ultimately, they will choose their faith and religious practices, so allowing them to play a role in religious decisions is important.  
It can be beneficial for you and your co-parent to look at sharing religion with your kids as teachable moments, giving your children room to ask questions, share their own viewpoints, and express how they would like to participate.  

Having these discussions ahead of time can help you maintain a healthy relationship with your co-parent and children 

Coming up with a plan and sticking to it is helpful to both reducing conflict and keeping consistency for your kids. If you and your co-parent need help communicating about religious topics, holidays, or events, TalkingParents can help.  
Our service offers tools built for healthy communication between co-parents, such as Accountable Calling & Messaging, the Shared Calendar, Info Library, and more. Sign up today to find out how TalkingParents can make your co-parenting journey a little easier. 

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