Creating Parenting Plans for Teenagers
Write up your own parenting plan, either on your own or with the other parent, before you work with an attorney or legal professional to create one. Reduce the high cost of an attorney by making your own parenting plan for teenagers, using 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.
A detailed parenting plan will enable your teen to have a more structured and orderly life as he or she deals with the changes that divorce brings. When you and the other parent are on the same page regarding things like visitation, you'll experience fewer frustrations due to miscommunication or assumptions.
Creating a detailed parenting plan for teenagers can reduce stress and minimize court time, allowing you to focus on parenting your teen rather than negotiating with the other parent. The day-to-day situations will go more smoothly when everyone understands what will happen.
Custody X Change software provides a parenting plan template that helps parents come up with a workable, detailed parenting plan for teenagers. It also lets you make changes to your parenting plan as your lives change.
The most essential elements you need to include in your parenting plan for teenagers center around scheduling and visitations, as well as the responsibilities each parent has to the child.
Your parenting plan can be as simple or as detailed as you want, but the more detailed the plan is, the better you and the other parent will be able to manage any situation that comes up.
A detailed parenting plan for teenagers should always include:
- Schedules that are clear and easy to understand that include details about holidays, vacations and special events like birthdays.
- Outlines on who provides transportation for the teen, such as to and from school or to activities.
- Plans for the specific responsibilities of each parent, such as who takes the teen to the doctor or who stays home from work when the teen is ill.
- Ways you and the other parent will keep each other informed on the teen.
- Details on the financial responsibilities of each parent.
- Provisions on which parent makes certain decisions, such as permissions to join extracurricular activities
- Agreements on how you'll manage any future disagreements.
- Timetables on how often you'll re-examine the parenting plan and discuss changes.
A parenting plan for teenagers allows more personal freedom and decision-making opportunities than plans for younger children. Unlike parenting plans for younger children, teenagers have a lot of outside commitments and have relationships outside the home.
Whether your teen has an after-school job, participates in sports or simply values time with friends, your parenting plan must encompass everything your teenager requires. For healthy social development, your teenager needs freedom for this personal development away from either of you.
Balancing freedom with boundaries is critical in your parenting plan for teenagers. They need firm guidelines at both households. You and the other parent must work together to provide a consistent parenting approach.
Talk about your expectations for discipline, chores, homework, dating and curfew, for example. Custody X Change provides parenting plan templates that address these issues to help you get started.
Your parenting plan for teenagers has the best chance of working well for everyone when you and the other parent communicate clearly about your teen's best interests. You both need to be flexible and willing to compromise when structuring your parenting plan so that it puts the needs of your teenager before your own.
Here are 10 tips that you can use to make your parenting plan work best:
- Communicate with each other in a courteous manner
- Be flexible when working out your teen's schedule to match your own
- Agree on rules and discipline so your teen has consistent expectations
- Respect each other's time with the teen and don't make conflicting plans that force your teen to choose
- Plan for plenty of one-on-one time with your teen to provide support and stability
- Discuss how you will exchange information that concerns your teen
- Support your teen's relationships with extended family, like grandparents
- Encourage contact with the absent parent via phone calls and give your teen privacy to communicate
- Don't speak negatively about the other parent to your teen
- Discuss any issues or changes directly with the other parent rather than making your teen the messenger
Listen to your teen's opinion regarding your parenting plan, which can give you clues on how he or she prefers to handle life with divorced parents. While you and the other parent ultimately make the decisions, a teen can provide valuable insight into certain aspects, such as how they would like to split visitations between you.
Listen to your teen's suggestions to gain insight into what might make the smoothest schedule for everyone. For some teenagers, long weekends with one parent might work best, while other teens may prefer alternating whole weeks with each parent.
Teenagers need age-appropriate rules and meaningful time with both parents, so structure your parenting plan to reflect that while considering your teen's opinions. It's appropriate to consult your teenager about major changes, and always talk to your teen when something is open to discussion.
If your parenting plan for teenagers is not working well, it's time to make changes and revise any parts that are causing confusion or are affected by new situations. Keep a parenting journal to record instances where the parenting plan is not working well.
Some things to watch for that signal your parenting plan is not working well include:
- You or the other parent are frequently late or miss exchanges
- Portions of the parenting plan are not clear to everyone
- One parent's actual time is less than their scheduled time
- Your teen voices legitimate problems with a portion of the plan
- New developments, such as a new job or activity, disrupt the current plan
Custody X Change gives you the flexibility to change your parenting plan as often as you need to. The software lets you record your actual parenting time, then automatically compares it to the scheduled time. You can print out a report that shows the difference. Finally, the software features a parenting journal that you can use daily, then print out a report as needed.