From soccer to play practice, children can have many different extracurricular opportunities during the school year. However, it can sometimes be tough for divorced parents to balance the realities of letting their children explore hobbies and interests and getting enough quality time with them from fall to spring.
Not surprisingly, the topic of extracurricular activities frequently becomes a source of contention, even if the divorcing parties are focused on co-parenting as positively as they can.
Common Reasons Divorced Parents Fight About Extracurricular Activities
Why are extracurriculars such a sticky subject? A primary reason that parents argue against allowing their child to participate in a specific extracurricular activity can be the time it takes to get the child there and back. Although transportation may not always be an issue if the extracurricular activity only falls during one spouse’s parenting time, it can become a problem if it requires both parents to share transport duties.
Another concern about extracurriculars relates to cost. Many divorced parents have child support arrangements in place. This gives them a set amount to put toward kids’ activities, which can help keep their new budgets from going awry. Yet if one parent agrees to pay the cost of an additional extracurricular activity, the action still can be seen as a way to “buy” the child’s affection.
A third reason for arguments relates to parenting time. Most parents want to have time with their children. But what happens if one parent sees the kids only on weekends, and those weekends are always filled up with sports, dance, or other endeavors? That parent may feel as if they are missing out on bonding moments, despite having the children from Friday night to Monday morning.
Finally, parents who are divorced sometimes feel that extracurricular activities are not valuable or do not fit their view of parenting. They may even believe that particular endeavors are not appropriate for their children. In this case, they may exercise their power to deny the child the ability to participate in that activity.
How to Solve Extracurricular Battles
As with most divorce-related problems, battles regarding extracurricular activities can be solved most easily and smoothly by anticipating them. Early in the school year, parents should make decisions about extracurricular activities. They can do this through their family law attorneys or work together, if possible. From that point, the parents will be on the same page.
The children should understand which activities they are able to do during the upcoming months, and which they cannot. Preventing fights by being proactive can help make the beginning of the school year much less stressful on everyone.
Baltimore County Child Custody Lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC Counsel Clients on the Best Ways to Handle Disputes
Do you worry that your children’s activities could become a point of contention during your divorce? Have they already dissolved everyone into tears or accusations? You have options. Talk to the Baltimore County child custody lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC. You can make an appointment at our offices in Towson or Hunt Valley, Maryland, by calling 443-589-0150. We can also be reached by completing an online contact form.
Areas we serve include Baltimore, Baltimore County, Bel Air, Bentley Springs, Columbia, Freeland, Hereford, Hampton, Westminster, Essex, Monkton, Sparks Glencoe, Parkton, Phoenix, Pikesville, White Hall, Carroll County, Harford County, and Howard County, Maryland.