Custody Agreements for Teenagers
You can write up your own custody agreement (on your own or with the other parent) or you can work with an attorney or legal professional and have them create it. If you don't want to pay the high cost of an attorney, and want to easily make your own agreement, you can use the Custody X Change software.
Custody X Change is software that creates parenting plans. You make each part of your agreement, and then you can print professional documents of your plan.
What should I include in my custody agreement?
When creating a custody agreement for a teenager, your plan should contain the same components that any good custody plan would:
- A declaration as to what type of custody each parent shall have
- A statement that delegates parental decision making authority
- A child visitation schedule that includes provisions for holidays and vacations
- Methods for periodically reviewing the plan, modifying the plan, and dispute resolution
- Any additional rules and stipulations you would like to include
When you use Custody X Change to create your custody agreement, you don't have to worry about leaving anything out since the software is designed to help you create a comprehensive parenting plan.
You simply navigate through each section of the program and can then feel confident your custody agreement is thorough and complete.
Most states have laws that permit older children to be able to voice their custodial preferences to the court. Some states allow children as young as twelve (but it is usually thirteen or fourteen) years old to state their wishes to the court.
The court will consider the wishes of the child when making a ruling. You should keep this in mind when creating your custody agreement and you may want to sit down with your child and discuss his or her wishes.
If you do not want to put your child in an awkward position where he or she may feel forced to choose between his or her parents, your child may speak privately with the judge.
Regardless of whom your child discusses his or her opinion with, he or she should be prepared to provide reasons for the decision. The child should not be permitted to make custody decisions based on whether or not it is “more fun” at one parent's house or in order to escape discipline or chores.
A judge will be able to ascertain whether or not there are valid reasons for a child's request and whether or not the decision is in the child's best interest.
Of course, if your teen has not offered or requested to appear in court, you don't have to push him or her to do so. Regardless of age, you are still the parents and you still retain control over the custody decisions as long as both parents are in agreement.
Once you have decided on a custody arrangement, you can use Custody X Change to print out multiple copies of the child visitation schedule. You can provide your teen with a copy of the Custody X Change calendar so your child will always know when he or she is expected to be with each parent.
Teenagers are busy. They have school, extracurricular activities, friends, “plans”, jobs, and often, cars.
It can be difficult to keep up with the plans of any teenager. When the child has two homes, it becomes even harder to keep tabs on them.
It is important to stick to the schedule, but you can still be flexible with it. If parenting time begins at 6pm but the child has basketball practice until 6:30, you should adjust the schedule accordingly. You can add the missed time on to the end of the visit or make up for it some other way.
If your teen has a job, you may find that both parents miss out on spending time with the child. They come home from school, get ready for work and may head out the door before you even get home.
It may help to get your child's work schedule in advance or see if they can have a set work schedule. This will make it easier to plan parenting time around your teen's schedule.
Regardless of how busy your teen may be, it is important to keep in mind that your child still needs both parents and you should take the time to make time to spend with him or her.
Custody X Change has features that allow you to keep track of what actually happens with the visitation schedule and other aspects of your child's life.
If you feel you are not being given the allotted time with your child, you can use the tracking and journaling features to generate reports that you can use to prove your point to your child, the other parent, a mediator, or even a judge.
Whether you have joint custody or there is a custodial and non-custodial parent, you both may be feeling as though you don't get to spend enough time with your busy teenager.
Just because your child seems to always be on the go doesn't mean that he or she doesn't need you anymore. In fact, teenagers need their parents more than ever (whether they would like to admit it or not).
Communication between parent and child is vital at any age. Even if you don't get to see your child every day, you can still check in with them, see how their day went, and tell them you love them.
Fortunately, there many different kinds of technology you can utilize to keep in touch with your child on a daily basis.
You can talk, text, IM, video chat, email, and use a variety of social media to communicate with your teenager.
You can easily establish a routine and keep the lines of communication between you and your child open.
You can use Custody X Change to add provisions to your custody agreement that include rules for additional communication with your child, as well as who will be responsible for paying for extra expenses such as mobile phones and wireless plans.