NAPLES, Florida. According to researchers, children who play tackle football before they turn 12, are more at risk of developing behavioral or emotional difficulties as adults. As the NFL has become more aware of the risk of CTE and concussions, some parents have decided to take their kids out of contact sports altogether. Football isn’t the only concern. According to the New York Times, more children are engaging in extreme sports at younger ages. Children are no longer just riding skateboards or snowboarding: they are attempting highly-technical jumps and spins. According to the Times, some pediatricians worry that children may not be mentally or even physically ready to be tackling these feats. Children may not be the best judge of their own risk and parents may not always be able to help them adequately assess risk, especially when parents aren’t experts in the sport.

This can lead to major conflicts if you and your ex are getting divorced. So, what do you do if your partner wants to enroll your child in an extreme sport, but you don’t think it’s safe? It doesn’t even have to be an extreme sport. What if one parent wants the child to play football, but the other parent is worried about head injuries?

It can be difficult to assess a child’s risk as it stands. Research on child brain injury and the long-term effects of tackle football on the brain are still in their infancy. Research on injuries in extreme sports is even less developed.

At the end of the day, when it comes to child custody and parenting decisions, the courts tend to make decisions using the best interests of the child standard. The resolution the courts might come to may be different for each family or situation. For example, it might be hard to stop a child from participating in a sport he or she participated in before the divorce, especially if the other parent can prove that the activity is integral to the child’s life. However, if the other parent can show a history of injuries or serious concussions, this might be enough to sway the court.

In the best-case scenarios, parents should try to resolve their disagreements outside of court with the help of a qualified child custody lawyer, like Long & Alguadich, P.L.L.C. in Naples, Florida. If you take your case to court, there’s a chance that the judge will make a decision neither party wants. However, sometimes compromises can be reached with a lawyer’s help. Perhaps the child will only be permitted to perform the activity with a trained coach? Perhaps the child will be required to be enrolled in a football league that takes precautions against concussions? Or, maybe both parents can agree on a sport that the child will also enjoy. Every family will find different resolutions. If you have questions about disagreements in child custody agreements or parenting plans, visit us at to learn more.