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When parents disagree about a child’s involvement in sports

On Behalf of | Jun 26, 2024 | Child Custody |

Parents who divorce or separate generally have to learn to cooperate with each other. They typically share not just time spent with their children but also responsibility for them. That responsibility may include the need to make certain parenting decisions.

Adults choose what doctor sees a child and what treatment they receive. They decide when and where to enroll children in school. Those choices can have a major influence on a child’s quality of life and their future opportunities. Many teenagers and even middle school students want to participate in organized sports. They may join a school team or a local league.

Generally, parents need to give their consent for their children to participate in athletic activities. What if co-parents don’t agree about a child’s participation in sports?

Parents usually have to agree

Sharing decision-making authority puts a bit of pressure on co-parents. They have an obligation to work with each other to reach agreements about how they raise their children. When they don’t agree, they may need to sit down and negotiate with each other. A review of their current custody arrangements may be necessary. In some scenarios, they may need to take the issue back to court if they cannot reach an amicable solution.

What influences a parent’s perspective?

When handling disputes related to decision-making authority, it is beneficial to try to understand the perspective of the other parent. Perhaps their concern is about the possibility of injury. Sports that involve physical contact, including rugby, football, and hockey may be of particular concern. Other times, the issue may be that a child has struggled academically. Parents may worry that further dividing their time and attention could worsen their performance in class. Concerns about bullying, expenses or a reduction in parenting time may also drive the dispute.

Ideally, conversations between parents could lead to them reaching a compromise. They might agree to allow the child to participate in specific sports or after they reach a certain age. They might also agree to uphold certain standards regarding a child’s academic performance when making choices about sports involvement.

If they truly cannot resolve the matter between themselves, then they may need to take the issue to family court. A family law judge can rule on decision-making matters based on what they believe is in the best interests of a child. They could settle the matter by making a decision about a specific issue or changing the allocation of decision-making authority.

Understanding the rules that govern parenting disputes that can help adults who find themselves disagreeing about athletic activity for their children. Parents who focus on what is best for their children may have an easier time compromising and resolving their custody-related disagreements.