Time-sharing involving older teenagers can present a problem for families. The court applies the best interest of the child factors to establish parenting responsibility and creating, developing, approving, or modifying a parenting plan. The best interest of the child factors evaluate all things. They include affecting the welfare and interests of the child(ren) and circumstances of the family. Finding the right time-sharing schedule for your family can be difficult, but even more challenging when your children are teenagers.
Make Sure Your Parenting Plan Is Up To Date
Teenagers typically want to spend more time with their friends instead of family. Your teenager may have a job, sports, or other activities that require their time and attention. Further, most high schools in Florida start at 7:15 AM. This could mean the distance between your home and school can be a bigger issue than ever before. The parenting plan you approved and signed when your child was a toddler may no longer fit your child’s needs. Your parenting plan needs to provide adequate time for your child to engage in their activities, go to work, and spend time with peers.
Many Different Schedules Will Work For Your Teenagers
– The 4-3 schedule, where your teen spends four days with one parent and three days with the other parent.
– The 5-2 schedule, where your teen spends five days with one parent and two days with the other parent.
– The one week each schedule, where your teen spends one week with one parent and one week with another parent.
– The two weeks each schedule, where your teen spends two weeks with one parent and one week with another parent.
Maintain A Positive And Substantial Relationship With Your Teenager
During the time your child is with their other parent, you can still maintain a positive and substantial relationship with your teenager. You can have dinner during the school week, attend their sporting events, or even visit them at work. We have no doubt, your teenager will appreciate your understanding and flexibility. Most parents focus on when they want to spend time with the child and fail to take the child’s schedule into consideration.
Never Discuss On Going Litigation
Generally speaking, it is never appropriate to discuss ongoing litigation with your minor child no matter their age. However, teenagers are on the cusp of adulthood. They are seeking a level of independence and control over their own schedule. Given this situation, it can be beneficial to discuss what time-sharing schedule works best for your teenager.
You may want to seek Legal Counsel To Assist
In the end, time-sharing schedules come in all shapes and sizes, but what is important is finding the one that works best for your family. It is difficult to determine what your child will want and need at the age of sixteen (16) when they are only three (3) at the time you and the co-parent are working on a parenting plan. You can build in flexibility and room to grow in order to avoid having to modify your plan in the future. If you have a plan that simply does not work for your family anymore, and there was no plan for the future built into the plan, you should seek legal counsel to assist you with modifying your time-sharing and parenting plan, if you otherwise qualify for the modification.