Many parents find themselves in a situation where they raise their children to be independent and self-sufficient at a young age, and that makes their children harder to control as they get older. While teaching your child to be more independent is a good thing, it may also backfire when it comes to your custody arrangements.
Divorcing or divorced parents with teens may find that it is particularly difficult to maintain their usual custody schedule. By the time their child is driving, they may rarely be home and not want to stick to a schedule where they’re forced to be at one home or another. That’s around the time when some parents ask if a custody schedule is even necessary anymore.
By law, you need a custody schedule until your child is 18 years of age
Once your child turns 18, they can begin making decisions about where they’d like to live or who they’d like to see each day. Until then, however, you and the other parent are legally bound to have a custody agreement in place.
That doesn’t mean that your agreement can’t be flexible. You might loosen the agreement in a way that gives you custody for half of the month and the other parent custody for the second half. Then, your child would know to check in at that home instead of regularly traveling back and forth between homes. Alternatively, you may arrange a requirement where your child must call both parents to tell them where they’ll be that night if they want to stray from the normal custody schedule.
Custody scheduling can be difficult when your child’s growing older, but you can make it work with good communication. There can be flexibility, but there still has to be responsibility.