Harrison & Medlin, P.C.
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Tips for co-parenting a teenager

For some divorced Georgia parents, co-parenting a teenager can present some challenges. Some parents may assume that the teen is mature enough to need less hands-on parenting. While teens do need to be treated differently from younger children, it is still important for parents to remain involved.

Some parents might be tempted to ease up on what could be fraught regular communication with the other parent. However, parents still need to talk to each other, and they should not try to do so through their teen. If they do not communicate, each parent may assume the other has more information than is the case. Parents may also assume the teen is behaving in the same way around each of them, and this may not be the case. This can mean parents do not know about certain issues the teen may be having.

Parents may coordinate less and assume their teens can drive themselves to activities. They may neglect to get to know the teen's friends, each assuming the other parent does. Teenagers still need guidance from their parents, and this is especially true if one parent has an unstable home life. However, this is not the time to be rigid about the parenting schedule. Teens have more responsibilities and want to spend time with friends, and parental flexibility is important.

If parents end their marriage when their child is a teenager, that child may want some input into the custody schedule. A custody schedule that is set when a child is very young may need modification as the child grows up. While some teens may need to be encouraged to spend time with both parents and should not choose the terms of the parenting schedule, there are cases in which the teen and parents agree that the teen can live with the other parent.

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