Having your child participate in extracurricular activities is a great way to allow them to grow and nurture their talents. However, if you and your child’s other parent are not together and share custody, the decision to sign them up for extracurriculars can be challenging. You and the other parent might disagree on the type of activities your child joins, or there may be conflicts about the time investments involved, especially if the activity infringes on someone’s parenting time.
Still, even though you may face challenges when deciding on your child’s extracurricular activities, that doesn’t mean your child should be denied participating in the things that interest them. By understanding the hurdles you might encounter and your options, you can more effectively overcome them.
If you need assistance with child custody and parenting agreements, reach out to our Pasadena team at the Law Offices of Makupson & Howard by calling (888) 328-2734 or submitting an online contact form today.
Possible Problems When Deciding on Extracurricular Activities
Extracurricular activities are a significant investment for both the child and the parents. There are practices, games, recitals, and other events to think about. Depending on the activity, the child might also need equipment and uniforms, which can be costly. If you and your child’s other parent share custody, you have much to consider when deciding to sign your child up for extracurriculars.
Some of the things you’ll have to think about that could present difficulties include:
- Whether to have your child participate: You might want your child to join a soccer team or take guitar lessons. However, their other parent might not want the same. If you have joint legal custody, both you and the other parent have the right and responsibility to make decisions about things like the extracurricular activities your child participates in. Although you don’t have to agree equally on everything and you can decide yourself, the choice to sign your child up for extracurriculars can present troubles later.
- What activity your child should take up: Perhaps you and your child’s other parent agree that having your child participate in extracurriculars will be good for them. Yet, you might disagree about the activity they do. For example, one of you might want to sign your child up for football, which the other finds too dangerous.
- Who pays for expenses: Although some extracurricular activities are free or low-cost, various expenses can arise. For instance, there might be entrance fees or travel costs. You and your child’s other parent might disagree on who takes care of the charges.
- When activities take place: The dates and times of practices, games, recitals, and other events can cause conflicts between you and your child’s other parent, as they may take place during parenting time. You or your child’s other parent might not want to lose any time spent with your child and decide not to take them to an activity that happens when they are with you, which is well within each of your rights.
Managing Extracurriculars With Shared Custody
Communication is critical when it comes to extracurricular activities and shared custody. Discussing decisions with your child’s other parent can help address and resolve conflicts. Yet, it can be difficult for parents who aren’t together to have open and amicable conversations in matters involving their children. That is why it may be helpful or necessary to have a professional, such as a family law lawyer, assist.
If you and your child’s other parent are at the beginning stages of a child custody matter, an attorney can help anticipate issues, such as those concerning extracurricular activities. They can assist in developing a clear parenting plan explaining how decisions about your child’s extracurriculars are made. The agreement can mitigate potential problems by ensuring that you both are aware of your expectations and requirements.
If you already have a parenting plan in place, but it doesn’t address extracurricular activities, your lawyer can help get it updated and seek an arrangement to more effectively account for your current situation.
Schedule a Consultation
Although you and your child’s other parent may have different opinions about extracurriculars, it’s essential to keep your child’s best interest in mind when making decisions. At the Law Offices of Makupson & Howard, we help clients find solutions for their families by considering the entirety of the circumstances.
To speak with one of our Pasadena lawyers, please call us at (888) 328-2734 or contact us online today.