There are countless benefits for children who participate in afterschool sports. Children learn teamwork, discipline and perseverance, and nothing makes a child happier than seeing their parents in the stands or on the sidelines, cheering them on.
And, most parents want to be involved in their child’s extracurricular activities, even if it means a lot of driving to away games and paying for uniforms and equipment.
When parents are married, it is easy for them to share in supporting their child’s participation in afterschool sports. But can this parental teamwork and camaraderie continue if a child’s parents divorce?
Coparenting and extracurricular activities
If parents are co-parenting post-divorce, there are strategies they can use so they can both be involved in their child’s afterschool activities.
First, remember the child’s best interests come first. Even if they are on the outs with one another, parents should focus on their child’s needs, which may require parental cooperation and civility.
If a child wants to participate in a new activity, co-parents can work together to parse out who will play what role in the activity. Who will drive the child to games? Who will pay for uniforms? Working out these details together can help avoid disputes down the road.
Co-parents should have a good line of communication to ensure their child shows up to practice and games on time. Having a shared calendar, either on paper or on an app, can help co-parents stay organized.
Also, co-parents may need to be flexible at times. For example, if the big game falls on one parent’s parenting time, but not the other’s, the parents may agree that they will both still attend the event.
Refer to established court orders
Finally, parents can refer to their parenting plan and child support order to review how they will share in their child’s extracurricular activities. Their parenting plan may include details on how parents will navigate the logistics of having their child in afterschool sports.
Also, in Pennsylvania, a court can include expenses related to extracurricular activities in a child-support order if doing so is reasonable under the circumstances.
With the right attitude, a commitment to cooperation and a commitment to an established parenting plan and child support order, co-parents in Pennsylvania can ensure they are both in attendance at their child’s next big game.