Divorce can take its toll on any member of the family, no matter the age or gender, and many times teenagers are likely to be greatly affected by their parents’ divorce.

Co-parents of teens may struggle to deal with the challenges faced with children who travel between homes, and, at times, it can become tough to handle successfully. However, there are a few ways co-parents can create a stable and trusting relationship with their children during or after a divorce is final.

Being clear about certain areas can greatly affect the transition period, and co-parents should make sure to stick to their preplanned consequences or agreements with the teenager. Taking things seriously is for the better in helping the teen feel secure.

First, it is wise to establish a household routine for a sense of balance and boundaries. Co-parents can discuss rules about activities including recreational times, curfews and chores with the teenager before moving occurs. Pointing out differences can be beneficial as well.

Technology has become an integral part of every teenager’s life, but co-parents need to make sure they have the items they will need, including laptops, smartphones or music players. There can also be rules regarding the transferring of such items between homes. This can also apply with toys or clothing.

In addition, earning a driver’s license or having permission to use a car may not be an easy choice with co-parents, but it is one that should be discussed rationally and parents must emphasize the importance of being responsible. Such a privilege should also not be used to create favoritism.

Some teenagers can have a desire for body alterations such as piercings or tattoos, and co-parents should discuss the action before it occurs.

Finally, substance abuse may be something co-parents fear most, but both need to be on the same page when it comes to rules and consequences. While substance abuse definitions may vary in households, co-parents need to use the same plan to address it.

Source: The Huffington Post, “7 Tips For Co-Parenting Teens,” Tara Fass, Jan. 23, 2013

Working out child custody issues is difficult, regardless of the age of the children. But our law firm has worked with many divorcing parents in DeKalb County to come to reasonable and fair child custody agreements, including those involving teenage children.