Why join the Y? Score a few points by signing your kids up for the Y, the Little League or the Scout Troop.
What organizations do your children belong to, outside of school? If your community sponsors its own recreational programs, think about signing up. If not, think about signing up for programs at the local YMCA or sister organizations. The same goes for joining the Little League or the locally sponsored Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts or Brownies.
Signing up with local, community-based organizations may help you score a few points in a contested child custody or visitation case. Children who participate in town-sponsored recreational programs are more likely to make a mental and emotional connection with the town itself, identifying themselves as living in that town permanently. They are more likely to develop friendships centered around that community and around that parent’s neighborhood.
Little League teams are traditionally sponsored by local businesses. Parents of local children volunteer their time to coach the teams, run the snack bar and raise donations to refurbish the field. Engaging your children in the local teams may very well put you closer to parents of their friends and may prompt you to become more involved in community sports. All of this raises your leverage in a custody case, entrenching your and your kids more in the community around your home.
Scouting is yet another fertile opportunity for children and their parents. Boy Scout troops, for example, are generally very project-oriented – planning camping trips, canoeing down the river, repairing an eroded creek bed, and the like. By getting involved with your children in scouting, you can not only strengthen the bond between you, but you can also develop wonderful anecdotal evidence of the things you’ve done together with your kids – evidence that can be very useful in a custody battle.
What experiences of this sort have you had?