Religion and Divorce: An Informational Look at Divorce in Different Religions

Religion and Divorce: An Informational Look at Divorce in Different Religions

A study released by Baylor University shows that children of parents who are actively religious are more likely to change their religious faith to a different religion or eschew religion entirely as adults. The study also identified that children who grew up with continuously married parents were twice as likely to continue to be as religious as their parents than children whose parents divorced (even if both parents are equally religious and of the same religious belief).

The Baylor University Study: Divorce’s Negative Effects on Children’s Religiosity

These results, however, need to be understood in relation to the religiosity of both parents during the time of the child’s formative years. If both parents held different religious faiths or there was a disparity in their religious activities, these disparities may have been the causes behind the divorce in the first place and children from these types of parents generally have a lower level of religiosity as a result of this disparity. The study reflects the negative effect that divorce may have on a child’s religiosity because the child may believe that the marriage was blessed by a higher power, but with the dissolution of marriage, it may rock their faith entirely.

Religion and divorce generally do not go hand-in-hand. However, many of the most popular faiths have some type of divorce/annulment mechanism so as to provide the couple a spiritual “out” from a marriage that is no longer working.  Below is an informational guide to divorces in Judaism, Hinduism, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.


Judaism generally does not support or encourage couples to divorce, but it does have a mechanism by which Jews may be able to divorce from their spouses. At the time of marriage, the Jewish couple enters into a marriage contract known as a ketubah, which outlines the duties of the Husband to his wife throughout the marriage. In order to divorce, the wife must get a get, which releases the wife from the marriage and is granted to her by her husband and performed by the rabbinical court. The husband, however, must authorize the wife’s release from the marriage, and may be the subject of considerable contention if the husband refuses to release his wife. A husband, however, may release himself from the marriage at any time.


Hindus believe that marriage is crucial duty to be undertaken to join two families to create a new family. The concept of divorce is very distinct for Hindus than for other religions. A woman is permitted to remarry or separate from her husband if:

  • The husband has been missing for a significant amount of time;
  • The husband died;
  • The husband contracted a “sinful” disease or is found guilty of a crime;
  • The husband is impotent; or
  • The husband no longer believes in the religious practices and/or converts to a different religion.

Latter Day Saints, including Mormons

To be married, followers of the Latter Day Saints are married through a religious ceremony known as a “temple sealing.” The ceremony, which occurs in a Mormon church, binds the couple together.

Mormon divorce provides for a religious ceremony known as a “cancellation of temple sealing,” which officially annuls the initial sealing; these ceremonies are rare and require permission from the First Presidency after reviewing the case. In addition, if one of the partners does not follow the obligations and promises provided in the commandments, acts of fidelity, and love, then a formal cancellation of temple sealing is not necessary as these are signs that he/she does not want to spend eternity with his/her spouse. Mormons may get civil divorces through the law, but this is undertaken seriously.

Experienced Family Law Attorneys in the Mount Pleasant, Charleston Area

Though there are many “spiritual” ways to end a marriage within a religious community, there are always legal remedies that may be taken to legally divorce your partner. The experienced family law attorneys at Klok Law Firm LLC will be able to provide you with the information and guidance necessary to help you through the legal proceedings and to obtain the best results from your divorce settlement. Contact the Klok Law Firm LLC for more information and an initial and confidential consultation.