Creating Parenting Plans for Teenagers

How do I make a parenting plan for my teenager?

Write up your own parenting plan, either on your own or with the other parent, before you work with a lawyer or legal professional to create one. Reduce the high cost of a lawyer by making your own parenting plan for teenagers, using Custody X Change software.

Visualize your schedule. Get a written parenting plan. Calculate your parenting time.

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How will a detailed parenting plan help my teenager?

A detailed parenting plan gives your teen structure 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.

The Custody X Change parenting plan template 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.

What essentials should I include in my parenting plan for teenagers?

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 include holidays, vacations and special events
  • Outlines of who will provide transportation for the teen, such as to school or activities
  • The specific responsibilities of each parent, such as staying home from work when the teen is ill
  • Ways you and the other parent will keep each other informed about the teen
  • The financial responsibilities of each parent
  • Which parent will make certain decisions, such as whether to give permission for dating
  • How you'll manage disagreements with the other parent
  • Timetables for re-examining the parenting plan

What is unique about creating a parenting plan for teenagers?

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 some freedom from either of you.

Balancing freedom with boundaries is critical in your parenting plan for teenagers. Teens need firm guidelines in 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.

How can I make sure my parenting plan for teenagers will work?

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:

  1. Communicate with each other in a courteous manner.
  2. Be flexible when working out your teen's schedule to match your own.
  3. Agree on rules and discipline so your teen has consistent expectations.
  4. Respect each other's time with the teen, and don't make conflicting plans that force your teen to choose.
  5. Plan for plenty of one-on-one time with your teen to provide support and stability.
  6. Discuss how you will exchange information that concerns your teen.
  7. Support your teen's relationships with extended family, like grandparents.
  8. Encourage contact with the absent parent via phone calls, and give your teen privacy to communicate.
  9. Don't speak negatively about the other parent to your teen.
  10. Discuss any issues or changes directly with the other parent rather than making your teen the messenger.

Can my teenager give input regarding the parenting plan?

Listen to your teen's opinion regarding your parenting plan. If they don't give you direct input, look for clues about 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 also to your teen's suggestions about 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 views. It's appropriate to consult your teenager about major changes, and always talk to your teen when something is open to discussion.

What if my parenting plan for teenagers is not working well?

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.
  • One parent's actual time is less than their scheduled time.
  • Portions of the parenting plan are not clear to everyone.
  • 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 and print out as needed.

The easiest way to make a parenting plan for a teenager

Creating a parenting plan on your own can feel overwhelming. You have to be sure to use airtight legal language and can't omit any required information.

Use technology to take the guesswork out of the equation. The Custody X Change app walks you through each step of creating a comprehensive parenting plan.

The result is a professional document that demonstrates your competence as a parent and secures your teen's future.

The easiest and most reliable way to make a parenting plan is with Custody X Change.

Visualize your schedule. Get a written parenting plan. Calculate your parenting time.

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Explore examples of common schedules



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Factors to consider

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Age guidelines:

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Journal what happens

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Calculate time & overnights

Ways to use:

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Bring calm to co‑parenting. Agree on a schedule and plan. Be prepared with everything documented.

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