In a divorce case, a Judge is not required to decide on which parent is going to consent to extracurricular activities.
However, because these activities can be expensive, time consuming and impactful on a child’s life, it is advisable to contemplate this during divorce negotiations if you are going through a divorce.
Sometimes we see parents schedule sports during the other parent’s visitation days on purpose, to impose on that parent’s limited time.
If it is one parent’s visitation day under a divorce court order, this one parent is not required to even take their child to an extracurricular activity at all under the law, but it messes up the relationship with the child and parent if the child is disappointed.
If you are going through a divorce, we encourage you to talk to your spouse about the following:
- Which parent can enroll the child into sports after this divorce is over?
- How many sports can the child be enrolled in?
- Who will pay the cost of the sport enrollment?
- Who will pay the cost of the equipment?
- Will these costs be a credit against child support?
- Should there be a cap on the total costs allowed here?
- Is it okay to set up activities that cross over the other parent’s visitation time?
- Who will be in charge of drop-off and pick-up at the sport?
- Will a parent stay there to observe the child?
- Can both parents stay to observe the child without it disrupting the child’s experience?
Example Provision For Decree
These could be used if the parties simply agree to no cap and that they will both pay 50% of any extracurricular activity in the Decree:
IT IS ORDERED that as additional child support the parties shall each pay 50% of the extracurricular activity costs of the child until the Child graduates from high school as defined elsewhere in this order. IT IS ORDERED that JOHN SMITH and JANE DOE shall mutually agree upon extracurricular activity enrollment, and costs associated with the same, prior to incurring the cost or enrolling the child. Said consent shall be made by both parties via email or text message. The costs of this extracurricular activity section shall be interpreted broadly to include school tours, tutoring, traveling, equipment, training and enrollment fees and other costs naturally arising out of any extracurricular activity of the Child.
Manner of Payment for Extracurricular Activities
IT IS ORDERED that within 7 days of JOHN SMITH receiving an extracurricular activity invoice from JANE DOE in his email of [email protected], that he will pay JANE DOE directly 50% of the total amount due, by check payable to her, and mailed to her last known address of ___________, or alternatively, by bank or wire transfer to her account ending in -_____.
IT IS ORDERED that within 7 days of JANE DOE receiving an extracurricular activity invoice from JOHN SMITH in her email of ___________, that she will pay JOHN SMITH directly 50% of the total amount due, by check payable to him, and mailed to his last known address of ____________________________________________, or alternatively, by bank or wire transfer to his account ending in ___________.