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Special issues for divorcing individuals with athletically gifted children

Athletics are part of many kids’ lives. Of course, athletic talent varies greatly among children. Some are very gifted athletically. Some kids who have such gifts wish to compete at a very high level. When this is the case, athletics can be a bigger part of their lives than is typical. This can raise some special issues for the parents of such children in a variety of situations. For example, if parents of an athletically gifted child divorce, their child’s athletic efforts can impact what kinds of issues are present in the divorce-related proceedings.

Many different things can go along with a child competing at a very high level in athletics. One is an intense training and competition schedule. Scheduling issues can be key ones in child custody matters, so an athletically-gifted child’s training/competition schedule could raise some special issues in divorce child custody proceedings.

When a child is competing in high-level athletics, many big decisions can come up in regards to their training and competition participation. Now, child custody matters in a divorce not only deal with which parent a child will be with when, but where decision-making authority regarding the child rests. So, in addition to issues regarding the child’s training/competition schedule, another child custody issue that could be a major one for divorcing parents with an athletically gifted child is how decisions regarding the child’s athletic pursuits will be made moving forward.

As we discussed previously on this blog, a child having special gifts can give rise to many special expenses. This is most certainly the case for athletically gifted children. As a recent Money article notes, the expenses for getting a child ready to compete at a high level in sports such as swimming, track & field and gymnastics are numerous and can add up to quite a bit, easily having the potential to run into the thousands. Among the things such expenses can do is raise some special concerns related to child support when a couple with an athletically gifted child is divorcing.

Experienced attorneys can help divorcing parents with identifying what special divorce issues are raised by their kids’ unique characteristics (including any special athletic pursuits they have) and what steps they can take to promote their children’s best interests when it comes to these issues.

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