Extra-Curricular Activity vs. Custody Order

The school year is coming to an end and it is time to enjoy the summer!!!  Yes get out and have fun, sign up for summer activities.  For many this is a simply task but for some it can become an annual battle with the ex.!!!  The battle comes in two forms, the first is to agree on the activity and the second is whether the activity will interfere with one parent’s custodial time.  Many parents have custody orders that help deal with this situation and some don’t have custody orders at all.

Most parents would agree that it is good to have their children in extra-curricular activities.  However, some parents overstep and sign the child up for activities without first discussing with the other parent and sometime even signing the child up for activities during the other parent’s custodial time!!!!  This begs the question “If the other parent registers your child for an extra-curricular activity, and you do not agree to this activity, do you have to take the child during your custodial time?”

The answer is …What does the custody order say!!!   I know that is not the answer you were looking for but it is the first answer you will hear.  It is also a good lesson to learn.  If you want to make sure your child can do certain activities then you should make sure it is in the custody order!!!!  If it is not in the custody order and not otherwise agreed upon then the custodial parent is free to use their custodial time how they see fit.  Yes that means they do not have to take the child to the activity they were signed up for by the other parent.  Again this is not the answer you were looking for as I do realize that many parent understand the importance of these activities but you also have to realize that the court recognizes that a child spending time with their parent is more important.

So what happens now?  The child is in the middle.  No matter how hard you try to not let them in on the struggle they will know what is going on.  They will have a hard time enjoying the activity knowing it is not what both parents want.  Most likely they will miss some events as the other parent is not as committed and they have other ideas of how they want to spend that time.  Bottom line is this is not the best way to co-parent.

So what do you do?  First thing is to make sure you cover as much as you can in the custody order.  If by agreement or by court order you should make sure both parents are on the same page at all times.  Next, both parties need to be flexible.  This will go a long way to successful co-parenting.  Last, get help.  Call us here at LaMonaca Law at 610-892-3877 so we can help you address issues before they become problems.

LaMonacalaw Blog

About the author

About Brady Johnson, IV

Brady Johnson graduated from LaSalle University in Philadelphia, PA where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting. After College Brady began his career in Banking, attending Law School at night. Brady received his Juris Doctorate from Widener Law School in Wilmington Delaware. Mr. Johnson focused his studies on Trial Advocacy, Child Abuse and Neglect, Counseling and Negotiations. Mr. Johnson is a member of the American Bar Association and Pennsylvania Bar Association.