Between Jiu-jitsu, football, and violin lessons, some parents may spend hours every week taking their children to extracurricular activities. The job is even more difficult for divorced parents who may struggle to meet the requirements of their parenting agreement. Parents may disagree on the scheduling of activities, the cost, or even just the type of activity. One parent may feel their child should be in a sports program, while the other leans toward robotics or coding. But how important are these activities? Will extracurricular activities affect visitation for children of divorced parents?
Extracurricular Activities Are Important
Little League, Girl Scouts, and chess club are fun activities that also provide some crucial benefits, including:
- Better academic performance,
- Higher self-esteem,
- Improved social skills,
- Problem-solving and sharper analytical skills, and
- More impressive college applications.
However, coordinating math club or gymnastics with an ex-spouse is sometimes not easy.
Time with Your Parents Is Important, Too
How will one parent feel when the other parent schedules an extracurricular activity during their visitation time? Typically, the parent who has custody of the child at the time takes the child to scheduled activities. Problems can arise, especially when ‘fun’ activities’ coincide with a parent’s work or activity schedule. Sometimes a parent feels the activity is not important in their child’s life.
Some of these difficulties can be ironed out in one important divorce document: the parenting plan.
Custody, Visitation, and Parenting Agreements
The type of custody arrangement reached in divorce affects school and extracurricular activities. In a California divorce, custody falls into several categories:
- Physical Custody has to do with where the child lives. Joint physical custody means the child lives with both parents. However, sole or primary custody means that the child lives with one parent and visits the other parent.
- Legal Custody relates to the important decisions that parents make for their children. Parents with joint legal custody share the right to make decisions about the children. However, a parent with sole legal custody handles decision-making on their own.
Does one parent have sole legal custody of the children? If so, that parent has the final say on extracurricular activities. However, the non-custodial parent can object or ask for changes to the parenting agreement or visitation schedule.
What Impact Extracurricular Activities Have on Visitation Depends
If parents amicably agree on the when and how of extracurriculars, they can avoid having a judge make decisions for them.
The attorneys at the Law Offices of Judy L. Burger are experienced at all phases of divorce, child custody, and child visitation. Call us at 415-293-8314 to schedule a private appointment or visit our website. We maintain offices in San Francisco, Beverly Hills, Marin County, Santa Barbara, Ventura/Oxnard, San Jose, Gold River (Sacramento), and surrounding communities.