Parenting Plans For Teenagers
All parenting plans, regardless of the children they are created for, contain certain information, including a time-sharing schedule. A parenting plan for a teenager (13-18 years old), however, may need to be customized to fit the needs of a child that age. This can be a difficult endeavor, so if you are co-parenting a teenager and need help creating or modifying an existing parenting plan, feel free to call our legal team for help.
Communication Between Co-Parents is Important
Teenagers are constantly changing, which is why it is so important for co-parents to keep channels of communication open, not only with their children, but with each other. Parenting plans should include a specific provision regarding what types of communication a teen’s parents will use. This could include in-person conversations, phone calls, text messages, emails, or video calls. By utilizing these methods of communication, parents can be sure to remain up-to-date on their child’s schedule and needs. Ease of communication will be especially important as teenagers age, with parents needing to discuss their goals for education and other post-high school plans.
Supporting a Teen’s Independence
Teenagers are in a part of their lives where they may be eager to explore different activities and develop relationships outside of the family unit. Parents can help make this possible by remaining flexible and creating a parenting plan that gives teenagers some leeway when it comes to their activities. A teen-focused parenting plan should also be adapted to fit the teenager’s schedule, which may include extracurricular activities, jobs, sports, and unstructured time.
Potential Custody Schedules for Your Teenager
A custody arrangement should support a teen’s independence, while also ensuring that close contact is maintained with both parents. There are a lot of different schedules that can work for a teenager. We’ve listed a few of the most common below:
- The 5-2 schedule, or the 2-2-5-5 schedule, where a teen spends five days with one parent, followed by two days with the other parent;
- The two weeks each schedule, where the teen spends two weeks with each parent;
- The every third week schedule, where the teenager spends two weeks with one parent and the third week with the other parent;
- The 4-3 schedule or the 3-4-4-3 schedule, where the teen spends four days with one parent followed by three days with the other parent; and
- The every third weekend schedule, with the teen spending every third weekend with the non-custodial parent.
If a teenager wishes to live primarily in one place because it is closer to friends or other activities, then parents can also schedule time throughout the week for visitation with the non-custodial parent.
A Parenting Plan Focused on Your Teenager’s Needs
Even though teenagers often act like they don’t need parental oversight or support, the opposite is actually true. Teenagers use their families as a basis of support and guidance and parenting plans should reflect these needs by allowing both parents to be involved in the child’s life, while also allowing the teenager some unstructured time. For help coming up with a parenting plan for your teenager, call dedicated Florida child visitation and time-sharing lawyer Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. at 954-945-7591 today.