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Family law: Court asked to weigh in on extracurriculars

Parents in New Hampshire are often forced to make decisions about their children's welfare even though they have conflicting ideas regarding what is in their best interests. Coming to decisions in such a scenario can be difficult enough for parents who are still romantically involved, but can be nearly impossible for couples who are not. In fact, parents in another state have asked a family law judge to weigh in on whether their teenage son should continue to play football.

According to reports, the 17-year-old's father was a football enthusiast in the past. In fact, the teenager, both of his older brothers, and his father all began playing at a young age. However, the father claims that because his son has suffered three concussions, he no longer wants him to play. He argues that football is a non-essential activity, and his son could play other sports -- such as basketball or baseball -- that do not carry the same risks of physical injury.

The teenager's mother, who shares custody with her ex-husband, believes that her son should be allowed to continue to play. She argues that her son understands the risks of his decision and that he was released to play sports by his doctors following each of his concussions. However, the father wrote to the school last summer, explaining that he no longer consents to his son's participation in the sport.

As a result, the school refused to let him play, prompting the mother to seek an emergency request to allow him to play, which was denied. She later filed papers seeking physical custody and legal custody in matters relating to extracurricular activities. A judge later ruled that the teenager should be able to play until the child custody hearing is held.

Many couples in New Hampshire are able to come together in a spirit of compromise, allowing them to make the decisions that are in the best interest of the child. Unfortunately, in some instances, parents must ask a court of family law to intervene. Having an experienced professional on his or her side can help ensure that the parent's wishes and desires are adequately represented to the court and all relevant information is provided.

Source: ABC News, "Divorced parents battle in court over whether teen son can play football", Julia Jacobo, March 6, 2018

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