As the summer Olympics come to a close, many young people across the nation have been inspired to set new goals and reach new levels of athletic performance. As anyone in Arizona who has been a party to competitive athletics knows, reaching the elite level requires a considerable investment of time and effort on the part of the parents. When divorce is at play, including youth sports within custody and support negotiations becomes important.
When both parents are on the same page in regard to supporting their young athlete, things can be easier to manage. However, when one parent does not share the same level of enthusiasm as the other, the topic deserves to be addressed during the negotiation process. For example, will both parents be expected to take the child to practices, games and competitions, regardless of whether doing so detracts from their parenting schedule?
In addition, there are matters of cost to consider. Competitive sports can be a very expensive pursuit, even for kids who expect to receive a scholarship or pursue a career in athletics. After a divorce, which parent will be expected to pay for those expenses? Will the costs be shared, or is the parent who supports the activity be expected to foot the bill?
Discussing these custody and support matters in depth early on can help parents work out a solution that is in the best interest of their young athlete. In some cases, limits can be put into place regarding the investment of time and money that each parent is expected to contribute. For others, a more clearly defined parenting schedule can help ensure that the child is able to continue on his or her chosen path. Not every Arizona family will end up with an Olympic medal for their efforts, but all can gain the pride that comes with cheering their kids on to success, both as children and adults.
Source: commdiginews.com, "Kids, sports and divorce: bringing up the next Olympic star", Myra Fleischer, Aug. 13, 2016