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Keep your parenting plan flexible for your teen

When you get a divorce and have a teenager, child custody may be more complicated than if it was just an agreement between you and your spouse. When a teen is involved, he or she may have his or her own opinions about what should happen and when.

There are a few things you can keep in mind about your teen to help you get through any custody challenges you have. For example, to make your parenting plan more effective, it's good to consider your teen's school activities, jobs, friends and other needs. Teens become more independent than they were in the past, so you'll need to talk to your teen about what he or she would like to see out of the custody arrangements.

It's important to make sure your plan gives your teen time to interact with other family members and peers. Teens tend to spend less time with their immediate family members as they grow and explore new hobbies and activities. Your plan should allow you to nurture that desire while still giving yourself time with your child.

Most importantly, you and your spouse should be willing to be flexible. Teenagers have schedules that may change often, and it's necessary for you and your spouse to understand that your teen may make plans that interfere with visitation or custody arrangements from time to time. Talk to your teen and each other about what to expect if that happens.

Our website has more information about child custody and what to expect if you have a teen during a divorce. With the right support, you can get through this trying time.

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