While divorces don’t have to be acrimonious, they do usually complicate things. Things that were once simple and straightforward become more difficult. Kids sporting events are a common example of something that becomes more difficult after divorce. Often, during marriage parents both attend sporting events. They cheer for their kids, get to know other parents, and watch their kids develop as athletes. After divorce, many parents wonder whether they can still enjoy the weekly game. The answer often depends on the parents post-divorce relationship.
In divorced families where the parents have a positive and friendly co-parenting relationship, there is usually no problem with both parents attending the same sporting events. At our firm we’ve even seen families where one former-spouse invites the other out for ice cream to celebrate a win (or recover from a loss).
However, in cases where the parents have not exhibited the ability to maintain their composure when in the same location, it is often best to avoid joint participation in sporting events. While many parents are sad to miss their kids’ game, most agree it is better to have your kids miss you at the game than be witness to you and your former-spouse arguing on the sidelines. It is also possible to write into a parenting plan that parents alternate involvement in sporting events so that both parents can remain involved in sports without the risk of exposing the kids to hostility.