During the divorce process you will come across different terms that you need to follow and you might find this confusing. In this blog we are going to focus on the term “mutually agreed upon extracurricular activity.”
This term tends to be a little less confusing because it is literally what it sounds like-an extracurricular activity for your child that both parents have jointly agreed upon and consented to. In many cases, parents have joint legal custody, and this means that they need to consult with each other prior to making any major decisions for the children. These things typically include medical, educational, religious and/or the general well-being of the children. But what many don’t realize is that extra-curricular activities also tend to fall into this category. This means that parents are supposed to discuss any and all extracurricular activities with the other parent before signing up the child.
This sounds like an easy and basic concept right? Well not always. Let’s take a look at an example:
- One parent wants to enroll a child in an activity that only falls during her parenting time. Logically, they might thinks that this is ok because the other parent would not be affected. However, this is not always true. For example, what if there is a situation where the other parent needs to take the child to or from practice if the parent has a conflict during her parenting time. Alternatively, the parent who signed up the child may expect the other parent to contribute financially. This is typically where an issue arises because then the other parent has the opportunity to say that he did not agree to said activity and therefore, it was not “mutually agreed upon.” This is when conflict happens.
Because of situations like the example, this is why most divorce and/or custody agreements say that parents should divide the cost of “mutually agreed upon extracurricular activities” because then it affords both parents the opportunity to a) voice concerns, but b) not be financially obligated to something that he or she does not agree with, nor can afford.
What if one of the parents wants to sign up the child for an activity and the other parent does not agree what happens then? Well technically, the child can still do the activity. However, only the parent who consented to the activity would likely be required to pay for such. The exception is usually when a child has consistently done an activity (for example, soccer for the last six years) and then one parent unilaterally tries to stop the activity. In that case, most courts would say that it was previously agreed upon and that the child should be able to continue to participate with financial assistance from both parents.
Contact the Law Offices of Keith Anthony at (860) 333-6455. Attorney Keith Anthony can help you navigate thru this process, step by step.