The parenting plan you create as part of your divorce settlement details how you and your spouse will handle parenting decisions, disagreements and visitation. While the initial parenting plan is part of your divorce and child custody settlement, you can modify it as your family’s needs change.
When children reach the teen years, parenting plans need to adapt to their changing lives and maturity.
Provide flexible visitation solutions
As children reach the teen years, sports participation, after-school jobs, school demands and friendships take up a lot of time. This can disrupt visitation schedules, making it difficult for both parents to get fair time with the children.
Instead of trying to plan the visitation schedule around a teenager’s demanding social life and extracurricular activities, consider making a more flexible determination. Set the number of hours that the teen should spend with each parent during the week so that your child can then decide how to allocate those hours in a way that best fits their schedule.
Expand communication avenues
In a digital age, teenagers have smartphones and webcams and many different methods of communication. Both parents should have freedom of communication through any available channels so that the child is free to reach out when it is good for their schedule.
Parenting plans are an important part of ensuring that each parent retains their relationship with the child. Relationship dynamics change as children age and the parenting plan should change with it. Consider the changes that work best for your family dynamic before you petition the court for modification.