How do you address extracurriculars in a parenting plan?

On Behalf of | May 6, 2024 | Child Support |

When parents divorce, they have to put their children’s best interests before all other things – and that starts with a carefully drafted parenting plan.

While there are a lot of different issues that have to be addressed in a parenting plan, one area that can easily get overlooked is the significant discussions you should have with your co-parent about your child’s extracurriculars.

Why is this so important?

Whether it’s sports or academic clubs, band camp or theater, extracurriculars help children develop into well-rounded individuals and explore their talents. However, extracurriculars can be hard to manage. When the parents are divorced, they need to:

  • Discuss how schedules will operate: You need to talk about the logistics of transportation, time commitments and any potential conflicts that could interfere with the custody and visitation arrangements. 
  • Determine how the costs will be shared: Any parent can tell you that extracurriculars come with extra expenses, like registration fees, equipment, uniforms and travel expenses. Will the costs be split evenly or allocated according to income?
  • Talk about decision-making authority: Will major decisions, such as selecting which activities to pursue or enrolling in competitive programs, require mutual agreement between both parents? Clarifying decision-making processes can prevent disagreements and give both parents a voice in their child’s extracurricular experiences.
  • Establish a communication protocol: Open, frequent communication keeps both parents informed and involved in their child’s interests and extracurriculars – so discuss the need to share schedules, updates on performances, changes in schedule or problems with a child’s participation in an event.

A comprehensive parenting plan is a very involved process that requires a lot of thought and compromise. By addressing extracurricular activities within the plan, you can create a supportive framework within which your child can thrive even in the middle of family transitions.

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