Dealing with Teenage Issues After Divorce
Getting a divorce is not something that just affects you and your soon-to-be-former spouse, it affects everyone in your household, especially children. The age of your child or children might require you to have different considerations when looking at divorce proceedings and custody arrangements. Depending on their age, children are also more or less likely to be directly involved in the proceedings, and their involvement must always be agreed upon by both parties involved.
Divorcing when you have children is tough in general, but it can get especially tricky when your children are teenagers.
- Keep communication channels open
As teenagers, your children are now at the stage where they know a lot more than maybe you might like them to, about divorce. By now, it is also likely that they have been exposed to divorce in other ways, such as divorces in the family or with their friends’ parents. This can be good because your child knows what a divorce is likely to mean for your family, but a lot of sensitivity and openness is still required. Keeping communication channels open means discussing your divorce openly with them and listening to their concerns if they have any. It also involves ensuring that they communicate with the other parent frequently as well.
- Maintain equitable schedules
When discussing schedules and custody involving teenagers, there are always three people involved in any discussion. You need to ensure that not only is the schedule you settle on is equitable to you and your former spouse, but more importantly, to your child. Teenagers often have independent schedules involving school, social obligations, work, and more, and their schedule should see as little disruption as possible after the divorce.
- Discuss rules and boundaries
One of the biggest problems that parents run into after divorce in terms of their teenagers is a discrepancy in discipline and rules. Having different curfews or rules about dating can cause significant strife with the teen involved. Therefore, parents should try and be united in terms of setting boundaries for their teens. While these do not have to be formalized in an agreement, both parents should still agree on them.
While discussing boundaries, counseling is something that may come up. If your child requires counseling, make sure that both you and your former spouse present a united front and take equal responsibility for any costs and obligations that come with the process.
- Discuss college
When you are divorcing, college plans need to be made for the teenagers. Who pays for college? Would college tuition be divided equally? Would the teenager involved has to provide for their own education in some way after they turn 18? All of these questions ought to be formally agreed upon, with dollar amounts, during divorce proceedings.
Divorce can be a difficult process, and even more so if you have teenagers. However, with proper management and communication, everyone involved can sail through the proceedings in an equitable and healthy way.
Getting divorced in California can be complicated. Download our free eBook, 18 Important Things to Know About California Divorce to educate yourself on the process.
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