When Parenting Time Conflicts With Extracurricular Activities

Participating in extracurricular activities is an important part of a child's upbringing. Extracurriculars teach children about hard work, responsibility, teamwork and more while building their self-esteem.

As a co-parent, you'll likely have to sacrifice some of your parenting time so your children can pursue their interests. Find out how you can manage conflicts between parenting time and extracurriculars.

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Scheduling activities during the other parent's time

Scheduling extracurricular activities during the other parent's time can be inevitable — and it can also be contentious when the other parent has limited time with the children. The following tips will help you strike a fair balance between activities and the other parent's time.

Use a calendar

Maintain an activities calendar so you always know your child's upcoming events. Using Custody X Change, you can easily see when parenting time conflicts with extracurricular activities. Based on the activities calendar, you can make adjustments to your custody schedule as needed.

Make a seasonal custody schedule

If your child's extracurricular activities are seasonal, you can work with the other parent to make a seasonal custody schedule built around your child's activities. For example, if the other parent regularly has Wednesday and Friday visits that conflict with soccer practice, you can switch to different visitation days during the season.

Schedule extracurriculars during your time, too

If the noncustodial parent's parenting time conflicts with extracurricular activities regularly, they may assume you're intentionally trying to keep the child away from them. Parental alienation through extracurricular activities is uncommon, but it can be a valid concern.

Try to find a balance so a comparable number of extracurricular activities happen during each parent's time. Custody X Change calculates parenting time for you. Consider adding the extracurriculars to your schedule as third-party time so you can see how much extracurriculars affect each parent's time.

If your ex refuses to take the child to extracurricular activities

When your ex's parenting time conflicts with extracurricular activities, you cannot force them to take the child to the activity. However, you can try an alternative dispute resolution method or talk with them one-on-one. If they are violating your custody order, you can take them to court

Plan ahead so you both know how to handle extracurriculars. Include provisions about extracurriculars in your parenting plan that cover:

  • Whether you must notify the other parent before enrolling the child in an activity
  • Who is responsible for extracurricular expenses
  • Whether extracurriculars take precedence over parenting time
  • When it is okay for a parent to not take the child to an extracurricular (e.g., if the child is sick or grounded)
  • Whether parents will get makeup parenting time for time the child is away at their extracurriculars
  • Who can attend which activities and whether parents can attend at the same time
  • Whether you'll consult with a mediator or parenting coordinator whenever disagreements spring up

Managing parenting time conflicts

A co-parent app can help you handle parenting time conflicts with extracurricular activities. With an activities calendar and more, Custody X Change has the tools you need.

Outfit your parenting plan with provisions about extracurriculars.

Use the child-info tool to keep track of information about your child's extracurriculars: coaches, contact information, etc.

Message each other civilly about cancellations, scheduling conflicts and more.

Set up notifications to stay on top of upcoming activities.

Custody X Change helps you juggle your child's extracurricular activities and parenting time.

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