Helping your teen during your divorce
Teens often get overlooked during divorce as being more mature and able to coast past the emotions and fragility commonly associated with younger children. This just isn’t the case. Though they are approaching adulthood and are more able to process a change in their family, divorce can still cause painful feelings for teens.
Teens still need two parents playing active roles in their life. Even though they are seeking independence and may act like they need you less these days, the truth is both parents play a role in stability and safety for your teenager.
Woods & Matlock have helped hundreds of families in the Dallas Fort Worth area as they transition to divorce. Our team has the experience and confident legal strategy making them known in the area as a top team of divorce and child custody lawyers in Frisco, TX. Here are some tips to keep in mind to help your teenager cope during a divorce.
Make a custody plan that works for your teen
Teens want to be able to spend time with their friends. They have dances, school events, and social activities that help them define their identity. Your teen will want to be able to go to the mall with friends, have a sleepover, or attend a concert regardless of your marital situation. Getting choice during this time of life is what helps teens form their identities and it is part of growing up that shouldn’t be denied them.
You need to make a flexible schedule that allows your teen ability to make plans with their friends. Deny them this and they will resent you. If a dance comes up during your weekend with your teenage daughter, work out a way to spend the time with her on a weeknight dinner during the other parent’s time. Find a way to balance your teen’s need to be an individual with their need for time with both parents.
Co-parent when it comes to rules and expectations
Additionally, you and your ex-spouse need to communicate about ground rules and enforce them. Unless it’s impossible to get along with your ex, try to take a collaborative approach to parenting. Your teen will use it to their advantage if you have radically different parenting strategies. Try to make a plan on curfews and dating that you both can agree on so your teen knows they will meet a consistent expectation with both parents.
Above all, your teen, like a child of any age should know both parents love and support them. With clear boundaries, love, and respect, your teen will know they will be okay during the divorce and after.
If you’re starting a legal case involving family law, make sure you have a strong attorney on your side. Woods & Matlock are a Texas firm of divorce and child custody lawyers in Frisco, TX you can trust to help your case go smoothly. Call us today at 972-972-8820.