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Author Topic: Definition of school-realated activity  (Read 1774 times)

mango

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Definition of school-realated activity
« on: Apr 19, 2004, 06:07:28 AM »
Soc,

We share 50/50 custody of my 10-year-old step-daughter in Ohio. The father has mostly weekends (3 per month) and one full week every month.

In the order it states parents are obligated to transport child to "school-related activities" on their parenting time. There is no obligations for "optional activities", unless parents expressly agree upon activity prior to enrollment of said activity.

Mother offered up an aggressive year-round "swim club" which practice 4-5 times during the week and have out-of-town swim meets on weekends. Father would be required to travel to the meets, and afford hotel stays. This club dominates the fathers parenting time and will disrupt his entire families weekends. Holding the whole family hostage to swimming every weekned except once per month.

He immediately told her he would not agree to the swim club on his parenting time. Mother enrolled her regardless, and took her on her one weekend per month.

She then filed contempt of court for "refusal to take child to school-related activities, and paying for 1/2 of said activity." Says it's related because it prepares children for the swim team offered in high school.

The club is community driven and not sponsored, offered, or supported by the school system.

Also, the agreement does state "The parties shall agree on any major decisions regarding the child's health and welfare."


Q?

1-  What defines "school-related" activity? Doesn't it mean "sponsored, supported or offered", by the school?

2-  Is father in contempt since he did not agree to the club in the first place?

3- Can father claim this to be "interference in fathers parenting time" since in dominates his time and not hers. That family relationships are more important then an activity?

Thanks, :-0


socrateaser

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RE: Definition of school-realated activity
« Reply #1 on: Apr 19, 2004, 07:16:36 AM »
>1-  What defines "school-related" activity? Doesn't it mean
>"sponsored, supported or offered", by the school?

First, your description of your custody arrangement is NOT 50/50. You may have joint "legal" custody, but that is not the same as 50/50 custody, which is a substantially equal division of physical parenting time. This doesn't affect your question at the moment, but it could under different facts.

The term school-related activity has no precise legal definition. A reasonable construction would be "an activity which but for the school's sponsorship, would not occur.  

Your swim team would occur regardless of the school's sponsorship, thus it is not school-related, therefore you have no obligation under your court order (i.e., as you describe the order).

>
>2-  Is father in contempt since he did not agree to the club
>in the first place?

Sounds like a major decision to me, as it involves a considerable amount of the child's non-school-related time.

>
>3- Can father claim this to be "interference in fathers
>parenting time" since in dominates his time and not hers. That
>family relationships are more important then an activity?

Yes, but, realize that the court will almost always weight its decisions heavily in favor of advancing the child's experiences, so I while I would consider using this as means of making out a contempt motion against the other parent in order to encourage a settlement, I wouldn't get my hopes up for getting a contempt order from the court.

I think that you need to calmly write the other parent and express some sadness that she does not seem to be very interested in your input as to the child's health and welfare, your exercise of parenting time, nor the very substantial extra expenses that she is independently incurring without your consultation.

You shouldn't expect anything other than a hostile answer from such a letter, but once you have sent it, the court will read it and the hostile response, and then the other parent will look like an ass.

Which is, of course, what you want, if you actually need to face the judge. Settlement is always better.

mango

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RE: Definition of school-realated activity
« Reply #2 on: Apr 19, 2004, 08:40:51 AM »
Thank you for your response.

The child is already involved in private flute lessons, and private piano, and her school-teachers are complianing that her assignments are turned in late or incompleted. So I think we can safely add that to our reasons why it's not in her best interest to do the club, as she is already busy.

If she were to be forced to do the club, we would have to give up custody as we can not afford to take a family of 5 out of town every weekend for a sporting activity. and the other kids need their father also.

I know courts look at the "child at hand" and not the other children involved, but it would damage far more then one relationship if this club were to occur.

mango

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RE: Copy of agreement (activity section)
« Reply #3 on: Apr 20, 2004, 08:32:03 AM »
I would think she could not enroll her without the prior agreement of the father by reading this agreement. It states that paprents need to agree before enrolling child.

But at times it is not so clear. ..

1.) Can you tell if he is obligated to participate in the swim-club by reading this?

>>>

EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES:

The parties will cooperate in facilitating extracurricular activities. During the time each parent has said child, each parent will be responsible for taking the child to her extracurricular activities.

The cost of school-related or school sponsored said extracurricular activities will be equally divided between the parents, each paying 50% of the same. However, should either parent enroll the child in a non-school related extracurricular activity without the agreement of the other parent who did not agree for the child to participate in said extracurricular activity shall have no obligation to pay any of the costs of said extracurricular activity and shall be relieved of any obligation to transport the child to said extracurricular activity. The purpose of this clause is to ensure that neither parent enrolls the child in an extracurricular activity without the express agreement of the other parent. However, either parent may indicate that while they do not agree with the enrollment into the extracurricular activity, they may agree by written notice to the parent who is enrolling the child in said extracurricular activity, that they will not agree to pay for said activity, but will transport the child to said activity and in that manner, the parent who is enrolling the child shall not be in violation, that an entire agreement must be entered into prior to enrolling the child in any extracurricular activity.

socrateaser

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RE: Copy of agreement (activity section)
« Reply #4 on: Apr 20, 2004, 01:53:10 PM »
Based upon your posted order, I'd say you have no obligation to be involved in the swim club, unless the swim club is actually affilliated/sposored by the school attended by the child.


mango

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RE: Thank you!
« Reply #5 on: Apr 21, 2004, 05:08:57 AM »
Really appreciate your input. :-)

 

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