Paying for sports after divorce
Written by Craig Cherney

Paying for sports after divorce

Many families encourage their kids to join extracurricular activities. Some feel participation is critical to growth and development. When divorce enters the picture, most parents want to avoid disrupting their children’s lives as much as possible. This means continuing extracurricular interests and sports during and after a divorce.

Kids’ Sports and Activities: After a Divorce

Children can gain important life experiences by participating in sports, taking music lessons and engaging in other extracurricular activities. However, there are a lot of logistics that go into making an activity happen. Someone has to be responsible for registration, buying equipment, scheduling physicals, driving to all of the practices and keeping track of game schedules.

Sometimes, communication during divorce is so strained and resentful that couples allow their attorneys to handle everything. After the divorce, many couples realize there’s no plan for the little things. They forgot additional expenses for kids’ extracurricular activities and fees.

Planning for the Future: After a Divorce

Making detailed and specific plans to cover equipment, transportation and fees associated with soccer aren’t applicable if your goalie becomes a ballerina. When that happens, transportation to another part of town, rehearsal clothes, recital fees, and costumes are needed. Most judges only address matters that are specified in the child support or parenting time agreement.

A collaborative divorce encourages respectful communication between partners. It can also include financial planning for your family’s future. Your collaborative divorce professionals may also encourage you to examine your future family needs more carefully.

You want football; you pay for football’

In Arizona, expenses for childcare, education, special needs or extraordinary child needs and even “costs associated with parenting time” can be covered in a child support calculation. But what do you do when one parent is dead-set against a child participating in an activity that isn’t included in the child support discussions?

At the root of these conflicts is the inability of both parents to put the interests of the family ahead of conflict. Even after a divorce, you remain a family. The collaborative divorce process can include learning new skills to deal with conflict resolution respectfully.

Look to the Future: Financial Obligations and Options Following Divorce

The state of New Jersey may have the right idea. They include “entertainment” as one of the components of basic child support. Entertainment is defined as “fees, memberships, and admissions to sports, recreation, or social events, lessons or instructions…hobbies, toys, playground equipment, photographic equipment, film processing, video games, and recreational, exercise, or sports equipment.” Your kids’ interests and needs change as they grow up. Arizona’s statutes don’t include a provision like this, but you can talk to your attorney about how to include them in your discussions of what a child-oriented settlement can look like.

The Advantage of Collaborative Divorce

The group of professionals at Best Legal Choices can also give you communication and neutral financial guidance. The skills they share may lead to more effective communication and can pave the way for better co-parenting.

You shouldn’t need attorneys to settle minor differences after a divorce. Best Legal Choices can help you build the foundation for years of ongoing, effective co-parenting. Contact the professionals at Best Legal Choices to learn more about collaborative divorce and planning for life after a divorce.