Co-parenting and Your Child’s Extracurricular Activities

If you are entering into a co-parenting arrangement, one area you will need to consider is how to handle your child’s extracurricular activities. The tips below will give you ideas to address in your co-parenting plan.

First, who decides what activities the child will participate in? If you have an uncooperative ex, he or she may refuse to consider any activity that you are in favor of. You may decide to make one parent completely in charge of extracurricular activities while the other parent handles another area such as medical concerns. If the child is older, you may be able to let it be his or her choice. Although, a difficult ex may be successful in talking the child out of something for spite or because he or she doesn’t want the hassle.

Transportation to the event will need to be arranged. Will each parent be responsible for transport during the time the children are there? What about out-of-town games or weekend-long events? Be sure to specify what will happen if the child does not get taken to the event. When kids are little, they may be able to get by with missing some games or practices. As they get older and especially if they are participating on elite teams or competitive events, being late or absent can result in being benched or other missed opportunities.

If your relationship with your co-parent has a history of violence or ugly confrontations, you will also need to specify expected conduct during the events. Will both parents attend each event or will only one be able to attend? Is there a distance apart that each party should remain since you may not want to sit next to someone you fear? What happens if a parent conducts themselves inappropriately with coaches or teachers?

Since extracurricular activities are important you will need to address how they will be chosen, transportation, and other expectations to ensure that your child gets to participate in his or her chosen activities with a minimum of conflict from the other parent.

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