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Catholic Church considering changing approach to divorced members

For many people, there is a spiritual aspect to marriage and divorce, as well as the legal one. An attorney can help handle the legal proceedings. But the spiritual part may be between the individual and his or her beliefs.

For example, people who are Catholic often cannot receive communion after getting divorced. But recently, officials in the Catholic Church have begun to debate whether to change that.

Back in October, Pope Francis called a synod on family issues. Among the issues debated was whether to allow divorced and remarried people to fully participate in the faith. Another synod on family issues is scheduled for next October. Until then, the debate will continue.

At the upcoming synod, bishops will present the pope with their recommendations, and Francis will decide what changes to make to Church doctrine, if any.

Many Catholics believe that marriage cannot be dissolved. Others, who have been through divorce, would like to feel more fully a part of their faith. An estimated 28 percent of American Catholics who have ever been married have been divorced, so any changes to doctrine could have a significant impact.

The law, of course, is kept separate from religion in New York State. People of all beliefs, or lack of belief, are entitled to dissolve their marriage. Matters like child support, child custody and property division can be settled out of court, or decided by a judge if necessary.

The best way to ensure that your divorce is as financially painless as possible is to have an experienced divorce attorney on your side.

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