Religious concerns in a divorce
Written by Jennifer Moshier

Religious concerns in a divorce

For many people, their church can feel like an extension of their family. For people who identify closely with their church or religious views, life changes which impact their personal lives also impact their spiritual lives. A change in marriage status can bring with it all the anticipations of judgment or disapproval that a family may have. Religious concerns in a divorce may include additional considerations or decision-making, especially when there are no clear, obvious religious grounds for the divorce.

Religious Concerns in a Divorce Aren’t Limited to One Religion

The decision to end a marriage is difficult and complex. No matter what your spiritual or religious beliefs, all couples face the same legal challenges.

With a traditional, litigation-based divorce, the legal system (attorneys and judges) are reluctant about dealing with religious issues. However, you can determine the issues and opportunities for family growth in a collaborative process. In collaborative process, grounds for divorce or legal separation can be safely explored. You can obtain legal protections like dividing the community, while still also exploring how to reconcile your marriage. This private, confidential conflict resolution process can allow you to divorce, and can also involve spiritual counselors if you agree to involve them. This is often the best setting for religious concerns in a divorce.

Divorce and Faith: Can They Work Together?

If you are filing for divorce, does this mean you are also filing for divorce from your deity — and cutting those ties at precisely the time when you may just need your faith the most? –Huffington Post

This question sums up exactly how it can feel to divorce when you have a strong faith or a strong church connection. Faith can falter but your church connection can keep you grounded – and make you think twice about taking action to protect yourself. Although you might not be the one who wants to divorce, you cannot stop your spouse from taking steps to sever that legal connection.

What if your spouse is financially ruining you?

What if your spouse is using pornography and not committing infidelity, but turning away from your marriage?

What if your spouse has totally shut down on you, and you want to remain married – but they do not? 

If you are a person of faith, nothing can take away your spiritual connection to your own beliefs. But decisions you make can cause you apprehension about judgments and conclusions that may not be fair or realistic without all the information. After all, no one lived your marriage but the two of you. In a collaborative process, your chosen legal, financial or communication professional can help both of you explore your family’s spiritual future as well as legal issues.

Working Within Your Religion for Divorce Solutions

Because divorce law realistically can clash with religious concerns, you may not find a suitable way to address these concerns in a traditional divorce. The law seems to favor taking legal action protect yourself, which does not in fact serve the way many spiritually-based people approach marriage. On the other hand, your collaborative process communication specialist or legal professional may help you to work with authorities within your faith to find family-protective solutions. Spiritual faith is something that many judges and non-collaborative process attorneys may not identify with.

Prenuptial agreements before marriage could help minimize religious concerns in a divorce. However, to make the prenuptial legally enforceable, an Arizona collaborative law attorney should be involved. The purpose and intent of that prenuptial agreement has to be clear. The law doesn’t deal with your faith the way you do. The law can be very neutral in dealing with faith.

Remember this: If you have chosen collaborative process, you have already established strong priorities. Your children and family unity come first. This means that in order to send a positive message to your children, you both want to model respect for each other’s beliefs.

Religious concerns in a legal conflict like divorce or legal separation can be addressed to help your family create the best future. With collaborative process, you’ve already made a good start toward a new beginning.

Guilt, Shame, Social Stigma, and Forgiveness

The social and emotional costs of divorce and legal separation may seem greater when religious faith is also challenged. “Divorced” doesn’t have to mean “defective.” Shame can control your self-worth, causing you to hurt yourself, your family, friends, and your future. In addition to forgiving your spouse and asking your God for forgiveness, you may need to forgive yourself.

Best Legal Choices professionals understand these unique challenges. We can guide you through the collaborative process with respect to your religion. Call or contact us today to discuss the possibilities.