Parents can choose which religion their child or children follow – but after separation, divorce or dissolution of a civil partnership, one or both parents may decide to change their child’s religion.
As children grow up they can also form strong ideas about which religion they wish to follow – or do not wish to follow.
However, any parent with Parental Responsibility can decide on which religion their child follows up to the age of 18 – and sometimes this may cause family disputes over changing a child’s religion or a child’s religious upbringing.
Children can legally choose to follow any religion at any age – however, if parents feel that following a specific religion may exert a harmful influence over a child below the age of 18, they can apply to the court for wardship and have their child made a Ward of Court. This means that the court will become the child’s official guardian – and if there is a risk a child might be taken aboard or travel abroad, UK ports and border staff will be alerted.
If parents are in dispute over a child’s religious upbringing, a parent can apply to the court to decide on the matter using a Specific Issue Order. The court will take into account the details of the case – but will always decide in the child’s best interests rather than the wishes of the parents.
If a parent wishes to change your child’s religion and the second parent opposes this, a Prohibitive Steps Order can be applied for under which the court will make a decision according to what it considers is in the best interests of the child.
Duncan Lewis children lawyers can advise parents who are couples or individuals on matters involving changing a child’s religion – including if a child under the age of 18 has chosen to follow a religion that may be causing conflict in the family, or which the family feels may exert a harmful influence over their child.
Duncan Lewis has acknowledged expertise in child care law – and also advises on international marriage and divorce and Islamic marriage and divorce, including child care matters.
In cases where agreement cannot be reached between a couple or within a family, Duncan Lewis can also arrange Family Mediation to help the parties work through the issues and reach a solution, without recourse to the courts.
The courts will always take into account the welfare of the child so working through any differences within lawyer supported Family Mediation can help avoid traumatic court action.
Both parents can appoint their own Duncan Lewis child care lawyer to give independent legal advice at every stage of the mediation process – Duncan Lewis’ own Mediators include Resolution qualified Professional Practice Consultants.
Duncan Lewis is ranked by the Legal 500 2014 for its Family & Matrimonial work – and the Duncan Lewis team includes Advanced Members of the Law Society’s Family Panel, and members of the Law Society Children Panel – so our team is well placed to help you with any issues involving changing a child’s religion.
Duncan Lewis children lawyers offer a fixed fee for an initial client interview and assessment of a private child matter involving changing a child’s religion.
After a case has been assessed, it is usually possible for a fixed fee arrangement to be put in place – and Duncan Lewis will always advise clients of the costs in advance.
Duncan Lewis is also one of the UK’s largest providers of Legal Aid family law services – including child care law – and in some cases may be able to offer Legal Aid funding for child care cases, including help with the costs of applying for court orders if a client is on benefits or has a low income.
Duncan Lewis children lawyers always advise clients who are seeking help with child care matters – or who are in dispute over a child’s religious upbringing – to get in touch as soon as possible before the situation escalates.
Once you have contacted Duncan Lewis, we can act swiftly in any child care matter and put in place measures to help resolve the issues and prevent further dispute and/or legal costs mounting up.
For expert legal advice on all child care matters – including changing a child’s religion – contact Duncan Lewis Children Lawyers on 020 7923 4020.