The beginning of the school year can be one of the roughest times for recently divorced Minnesota parents. Not only do they have to deal with the drastic changes in their custody schedules, but they also have to co-parent with someone who doesn’t live in the same house as them anymore.
It’s also a time where former spouses tend to find issues within their parenting plans. Even if their new custody schedules appear relatively straightforward, they can get into serious conflicts if they didn’t take certain factors into account. One major factor is the child’s involvement in school sports, clubs and other extracurricular activities. If one parent has sole custody of the child, then they will be the deciding vote in major decisions such as this. However, if their custody times are almost evenly split, then they will have to take the following into consideration:
The child’s safety
When it comes to sports, one parent may be vehemently opposed to their kid joining sports that frequently involve physical altercations such as football and hockey. Before crafting the parenting plan, both parents should bring up any safety concerns they have for certain activities so they can discuss before their kid tries to sign up for something that could lead to a family argument. They should also ask their child what sports they may be interested in since the court does take the child’s best interest into account.
How it affects the schedule
This aspect often leads to the most disputes between exes. Depending on what activity the child signs up for, one parent may end up spending less time with their kid than the other one. If the custody is almost evenly split, this is less likely to happen, but parents should implement a contingency plan regardless. They should make it clear in the plan that they need to update each other of any major changes their child may have in their schedules because of extracurricular activities and if they need to settle any differences on it in mediation or court.
Child support in Minnesota does include costs for education, but it doesn’t completely account for extracurricular activities. You don’t know if your child will be interested in a sport or club which requires an additional cost that isn’t cheap. They may need a few hundred dollars to purchase an instrument or a set of golf clubs. Money can be a major issue for recent divorcees, so it’s important to clarify what your financial limits are for these scenarios.
If you have any further questions on creating a proper parenting plan and what factors to include with it, don’t be afraid to reach out to experienced family law attorneys to help you form the proper agreement.