Shared Parenting Plan
Your Ventura County family attorney will probably have different advice for you when developing a parenting plan for your teenager than when planning for your younger children. With respect to teenagers, it is important to strike a balance between accommodating their desire for independence with the need for structure and consistency. Below are some pointers to keep in mind as you work with your Ventura County family attorney to create a plan:
It is extremely important that your teenager feels like he or she is an active participant in developing a parenting plan. Teenagers share many of the same desires as younger children with respect to their family relationships, but they also desire control over their own lives. As you work on your teenager’s parenting plan, ask him or her to provide input about what is most important. Often, parents forget that a major concern for teenagers is being near their friends and do not consider that factor when crafting a parenting plan. If you involve your teenager, he or she may raise points you failed to identify and will be more likely to accept the structure the plan provides.
Beware of the Teenaged Mind
Teenagers tend to exhibit some self-centeredness as they assert their independence. You should bear in mind that your teenager may not be completely fair to you in evaluating your parenting plan. He or she may make hurtful value judgments about yours and your former spouse’s homes and may not cooperate when you attempt to implement the plan. There is not much you can do to make your teenager mature more quickly, but you can prepare yourself for the possibility your teenager will resist your plan. If your teenager is uncooperative, attempt to highlight all of the features of the plan that are intended to accommodate his or her schedule. If your teenager sees that you respect his or her wishes, there is a better chance the parenting plan will work.
It is a rare case when a Ventura County family attorney is able to build a parenting plan for a client without hitting a few bumps in the road. Disagreements between you and your spouse and your children’s unruliness will likely test the plan. You must make an effort to shield your teenager from any unpredictability and keep the plan as consistent as possible. The sooner the plan becomes routine, the more quickly your teenager will adapt to it.
For a free consultation with a Ventura County family attorney, please contact Gary Mitchell, Esq. at (805) 449-4241.
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