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Laura Dale & Associates, P.C.

Sports-mad dad works game watching into visitation deal

For decades, parents in Houston, Texas and all around the country have worked out visitation agreements that are tailored to their individual situations. One divorced dad in Illinois, however, has carved out a unique agreement that few people with years of experience in family law cases have ever come across.

Under the conditions of his agreement, the children alternate parents for events such as birthdays and the mother has custody for several religious holidays. One of the man's annual requests was that he have his children with him for a few specific holidays: Memorial Day, St. Patrick's Day and Super Bowl Sunday.

Aside from pro football, the man is an avid fan of Syracuse University sports, particularly basketball. He no longer lives near the school in New York but still follows the teams passionately. Naturally, his favorite time of year is March Madness, the annual NCAA basketball tournament. The sports-loving dad really wanted his kids to be with him to watch games when Syracuse is playing in the tournament.

The problem with working out an arrangement to cover this is the tournament itself. While an event such as the Super Bowl or various holidays are decided well in advance, pairings for the NCAA Tournament are revealed only a few days before the first game. And were to the Syracuse Orange advance to the Final Four, they would first play four or five games over two weekends -- hardly specific enough to work into a custody agreement.

So the man came up with a unique solution that was acceptable to his wife as well: If Syracuse makes the championship game -- the time and date of which is set in advance -- the man gets to have his kids watch with him. The chances are remote but not nonexistent: the Orange have advanced to the final three times since 1987, winning the tournament in 2003.

Source: Yahoo Sports, "Syracuse fan makes unusual custody request in divorce settlement," Jeff Eisenberg, July 27, 2012

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