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Does My Teen Need A Custody Schedule?

Going through a divorce is tough, especially when you have to go through it with your children. Your kids have always been your biggest supports, and now that they're in their mid-teens, they've been more than aware of what has been happening.

For the most part, they've stayed out of the divorce. They've let you and your spouse negotiate and talk. Now, you and your spouse want to sit down with them and discuss a teen custody schedule. One is almost old enough to drive, and another will be going off to school soon. Is it even worth setting a schedule?

Do teens need a custody schedule?

Any minor in your care should have a custody schedule, even if it's one that you allow them to bend from time to time. For example, you may have a teen son and teen daughter. Your teen daughter might choose to live with her mom through the week and stay with you on the weekends, while your teen son might choose to live with you. Maybe they both want to go back and forth a few times a week, and your son says he'll drive them to whichever home they're supposed to be at that day.

They're old enough to make their own decisions, but they also need guidance and correction. If you have no custody schedule, you could find that you have trouble finding them or knowing which home they should be at. They could go to one parent's house over the other just because it's closer to school or friends, hurting you or your spouse's parenting time.

When you talk to your kids, tell them that you respect their independence and want them to have some, but you do need guidelines. You may find that they're happy to agree or even have suggestions of their own.


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