Ft. Lauderdale, FL- Divorce has long been a taboo for the devout, but for Catholics, divorce is more than a taboo, it affects the way they practice their faith. Or, more specifically whether they are allowed to receive communion, an important rite in the Catholic faith. But in a synod of Catholic bishops currently taking place in Vatican City, there are indications that there is a shift in the church’s attitude towards divorce.

Without an annulment, which is exceedingly difficult to obtain even with a divorce attorney’s assistance, a Catholic is considered to be living in sin and are therefore forbidden from receiving the sacraments. Under Catholic teachings, marriages cannot be dissolved they must be annulled. An annulment essentially means the marriage never actually existed in the first place.

As Elisabetta Povoledo and Laurie Goodstein wrote in the New York Times, “it is the first signal that the institutional church may follow the direction Francis has set in the first 18 months of his papacy, away from condemnation of unconventional family situations and toward understanding, openness and mercy.”

In a document released Monday, bishops wrote of Catholic Church’s need to accept homosexuality, divorce and birth control in order to welcome more people into the faith.

In respect to divorce, the Bishops said these Catholics deserve respect and shouldn’t face discrimination, but didn’t go so far as to say they should be allowed to receive communion. Some more conservative Catholics believe that divorced individuals should be barred from the sacraments, while others believe this should be approached on an individual basis.

Pope Francis has asked for a more compassionate approach to divorced couples and stated there “positive aspects of civil unions and cohabitation.”

The document noted that Bishops are still torn about the issue and that further discussions are necessary before there is general consensus which can lead to substantive changes within the Catholic faith.

Religion plays an important role in many American’s lives; it is a multi-faceted issue and deeply complex, and it affects how a couple approaches the end of their marriage.

When it comes to divorce, there are many issues aside from the spiritual that can complicate the process. Those issues are primarily child custody and asset division. It is often rare that estranged couples can completely agree on these two issues and these disagreements can complicate divorce and make for a long and protracted battle. Couples in the midst of a divorce need sound advice; they need someone willing to answer their questions and take their many concerns seriously. One our outstanding divorce attorneys will be your ally during the divorce process and take the steps necessary to assure you get a fair divorce settlement.

A divorce attorney understands how emotionally and financially difficult divorce can be on an individual so their top priority is to ensure you can live with the terms of your divorce and child custody arrangements. Your legal counsel will help you avoid some of the pitfalls of divorce and make certain your best interests are protected.