If you and your former spouse divorced while the children were young, the custody order is likely an equal time split. This usually includes every other weekend and several weeks during the summer along with shared holidays and school vacations. While those rigid schedules may work for younger kids, what happens during the teen years?
You may need to modify your custody order as your child gets older.
Summer jobs can interfere with plans
Teens are often eager to get into the workforce and start earning their own money. Summertime is a period of freedom from school schedules, allowing for more flexible work hours. That work schedule may interfere with custody arrangements if both parents are not in proximity to the job. You may need to adapt the custody schedule around your child’s work schedule instead.
School sports and extracurricular activities are demanding
Teens who are active in school sports or participate in other extracurricular events may have extensive practice and travel schedules. When both parents are not in the immediate vicinity of the school district, this can make custody transfers a challenge.
Open-ended schedules may prove more successful
With the demanding schedules that teens often have, an open-ended visitation and custody schedule might be the best solution. Provide your teen with guidelines about how much time they should spend in each home and allow them to adapt that time as needed to fit their schedule.
Remember that college comes up quickly after the high school years, so work with your teen to embrace any time you can spend together before that transition happens.