Teens and Parenting Time—How Does that Work?

Going through divorce is tough on parents.  For children, it is a whole different ballgame.

For children with a relatively stable home life, divorce may be the first big ending they ever experience.  While adults are already experienced with the rigors of life, children are not seasoned veterans of conflict, or at least they shouldn’t be.

For those going through divorce, it may be difficult to detach yourself from your own fear and concern about the future, your finances, and the lifestyle of your family to take a look at, or through, the eyes of your children.

When couples are unable to arrive at an agreement about child custody and parenting time, the courts have solid guidelines for determining child support – and if need be, the conditions and location of where your child will live out their youth.

Losing a stable home to become a weekly traveler to the home of one parent or the other is tough on a child of any age.  Researchers have looked at the impact of divorce on children and two points consistently emerge.  Those factors are the level and duration of conflict that occur as a result of divorce and the resiliency of children on the whole.

While every story is different, children with parents working to create a balanced life for them fare better than children of parents who battle at the outset of divorce—or for years following.  For teens, the rigor and demand of parenting time and designated holidays makes the ups and downs of the teen years even more difficult.

Can your child choose where they want to live?

Children look to their parents to provide guidance and a safe home.  When children can rely on their parents to provide the structure they need, they are less likely to look at how they can use divorce to their advantage.  That said, divorce is a difficult and confusing time, and children may have difficulty accepting living arrangements made for them.

Custody and parenting time arrangements delivered by court order rarely work as well as agreements between the parties.  If needed, the court has an extensive process for determining the best interests of your children—and where they should reside.

Even given that, a teen who is 16 years of age can petition the court for a change in their living circumstances.  Before it comes to court action, it is a good idea to pay attention to the cues and behavior of your children as they grow.

While a consistent, reliable parenting time arrangement offers stability, over time those arrangements may need to change to respond to your children—without losing sight of the structure and guidance that they trust you will provide.

The best parenting time arrangements are those that take the needs of all family members into account over time.  When you have questions about custody, or options for parenting time, speak with an experienced family law attorney in Baltimore.

Knowledgeable help with custody, child support, and parenting time

Serving Baltimore County and surrounding areas, the Law Offices of Allyson B. Goldscher, LLC deliver straightforward, experienced legal representation when you are going through divorce or challenged by a post-divorce matter.  Contact us when you have questions about divorce. We have answers you can trust.  Call us at 410-602-9522 today.

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