Tips for Co-Parenting a Teen After Divorce
Creating the right parenting plan can be challenging for parents with children of any age. While younger children might not have much say in matters, courts do tend to take the feelings and wishes of mature teenagers a bit more seriously. Teenagers may also respond differently to their parents’ divorce than a young child might. Children that age are often more aware of the problems in their parents’ marriage than younger kids might be, even if the parents have not directly discussed the issues with them. A wide variety of reactions in teenagers are normal. Some may be angry with one parent in particular and eager to live with the other. Others may try in vain to keep their parents together. It is important to include teenagers in the conversation when you are discussing child custody arrangements. An experienced DuPage County, IL, divorce lawyer can offer you additional guidance.
Ideas for Divorced Parents of Teenagers
Parenting a teen can be a challenge even for parents who are still together. Some tips for creating a parenting plan for your teenage child and successfully co-parenting after a divorce include:
- Consider their wishes - Your teenager is likely to have strong feelings about which parent they want to live with and how much they want to see the other parent. It is best to take their wishes into consideration without letting your child dictate their own parenting time schedule.
- Communicate - It is important for both parents to keep an open line of communication regarding their teenager’s life. Both parents should be aware if the teen is getting into trouble at school or having other difficulties. You also would want to avoid a situation where each parent thinks the teen is with the other parent when, in reality, they are elsewhere.
- Get them help - If your teen is struggling with your divorce or acting out as a result, sending them to see a counselor can be helpful. Teens may not let their parents in emotionally in the same way a younger child might and could benefit from having a third-party adult to talk things over with.
- Keep being there - Even if you are not getting along with the other parent at all, your child can benefit from having both of you present at certain events, like their “big game” or their graduation ceremony.
While co-parenting a teenager after a divorce can be difficult, children this age often do better after a divorce than they would in a house filled with conflict.
Contact a Wheaton, IL, Divorce Attorney
Andrew Cores Family Law Group is committed to helping parents successfully co-parent after a divorce. Our skilled DuPage County, IL, divorce lawyers will strive to help you make the best possible parenting plan. Contact us at 630-871-1002 for a complimentary consultation.