The recent divorce of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes has people buzzing about religion and divorce and their impact on each other. A lot of people come into our office struggling with issues that erupt from their religious beliefs about divorce and the intersection of their faith with their reason. Whether you are Muslim, Jewish, Christian or any religion, there are certainly considerations to be managed within your religious community when you are seeking divorce.
Close-knit religious communities especially suffer from the disruption of a family. The entire community can sometimes grieve the loss. However, the decisions that you make have to be yours, based on your own faith, your own experience, your own prayer or study….to stay or to go, that question has to be answered just between you two.
Not all attorneys understand that religious considerations can be a very important factor in decisions not only to divorce but how to divorce and how to manage children and assets. At The Law Offices of Lynda L. Hinkle, we are concerned about you holistically…and if religious considerations are a part of your process, we want to know about it and know how to help you apply your values to the situation. Strong feelings about religion should be disclosed, because sometimes they must be considered in any final settlement of your divorce to protect you from losing the right to raise your children in the religion of your choosing.
Here are some words of advice if you have strong religious feelings and are pursuing a divorce:
– Find an attorney with a sensitivity about religious issues. We will respect your faith and not undermine it’s value.
– Discuss your divorce with your religious leaders, but understand that if they do not accept your reasons or they counsel you to stay when you know the situation is unbearable (particularly if there is domestic violence) that you have to make your own choices for the health and safety of you and your children
– In cases where there are not safety concerns, continue if possible to work with religious leaders to heal the relationship even if you continue the divorce. Restoring a healthy relationship for co-parenting or co-existing within a tight knit religious community has value even if the marriage can’t be saved.
– Give your community room to grieve the relationship, but don’t take it upon yourself to feel guilt, shame or a need to resolve those issues for them.
– Protect your rights to raise your children in the religion you value
– Every religion has alternative viewpoints. If you are not feeling supported in the community you worship in, find resources of others of your faith who have been through what you are going through and look for support in other communities of the same faith
– Make the decision to handle the divorce and your grief about it in a way that most honors your faith
– Remember that at the heart of every faith is a belief in something greater than us and our human problems….cling to that.
To schedule a free consultation about your legal matter, call 856-227-7888 or email [email protected]. We have locations in Camden, Burlington, and Gloucester counties, and are happy to discuss your legal options.