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Planning Ahead for Extracurricular Activities

October 13th, 2017 by Marta J. Papa

Lay the Groundwork: Your child may not be involved in sports just yet but it’s important to consider extracurricular activities that may come in the not so distant future during your divorce negotiations. “Talk to your divorce lawyer about how to factor in these kinds of expenses. In your settlement talks, you might consider addressing such issues as: how will you split payment for lessons (any kinds of lessons: from art to music to sports)? Which parent makes the decision about lessons — is the consent of both parents needed before signing a child up?” (

Negotiate: Know that even with the most well planned out settlement agreement there will be some bumps in the road. No one can predict the future, and you certainly can’t forsee if your child will end up hating sports or playing on a highly competitive level. If the latter happens, the equipment and travel costs can come as a surprise and the whole endeavor can be extremely time consuming. “What if one parent was initially supportive, but now thinks the cost is too much? What if spending all day Saturday at skating or snowboarding lessons unfairly cuts into weekend visitations? Should this mean a shift in parenting time and custody arrangements?

“In general, the parent who is more enthusiastic about the child’s involvement in sports may need to be willing to take on more of the burden of paying for extras above and beyond normal participation — or be willing to concede on other issues.” (

Don’t Bring It On the Field: Whatever decisions you and your former spouse come to, when it’s time for the big game, it’s important to leave any disagreements with your ex at the door. Remember to focus on your child. They’ve been working hard and deserve your support and attention!