After a divorce, some Massachusetts parents may struggle to raise their kids. When their children reach their teen years, they might be tempted to take a more hands-off approach, reasoning that their teens are mature enough that they do not need to communicate as frequently with the other parent. However, this can be a mistake. Teens still need guidance, and they need their divorced parents to keep talking to one another.
Typical errors among parents of children in this age group include assuming that the teen will share necessary information with the other parent and that the teen behaves the same way with both parents. The former assumption gives the teen a great deal of power. The latter assumption can mean that teens are not getting the support they may need from both parents. Another potentially harmful assumption is that one parent knows the teen’s friends and there is no need for the other parent to make time for this as well.
Parents might also coordinate less than they did once their teen begins to drive. This lack of communication can also be a problem if a teen has an unstable home life with one parent since the teen may be more likely to engage in risky behaviors. However, in many cases, parents of teens may need to be more flexible about the parenting schedule.
Custody and visitation agreements may be decided upon when children are very young, and over time, those agreements may need to change. If it is a permanent change, parents may need to go to court to get a formal modification of the agreement. Sometimes, a change in a parent’s life could lead to needing a modification. A parent who is planning to relocate may need to return to court to get permission if it will affect the custody arrangement.