As a parent, you may want your kids to stay young forever, but sooner or later, they start the transformation from a child to a young adult. Naturally, maturity leaves high schoolers wanting more unsupervised time for social activities with their friends.
Married parents can accommodate these needs without experiencing any undue hardships. With divorced parents, however, modifying a child custody order can mean complete upheaval.
Here are some tips that could help you accommodate your teens and still get the time with them you deserve.
Consider teen schedules
Along with spending more time away from home, many high school students become involved in sports and extracurricular activities. Before filing a petition to change your custody plan, try and get a general idea of your teen’s new schedule.
By planning around your teen’s calendar (within reason), you already know what formal modifications to request in your petition.
Consider alternative hours
Teenagers typically use evening and weekend hours to socialize. Parents willing to change their custody schedules can accommodate this and still get fair parenting time. For example, switching from weekends with one parent to alternating weeks with each parent might solve this problem.
Your high schooler will get more free time without either parent sacrificing unnecessarily.
Can you make custody changes yourself?
Generally, family courts understand that small alterations here and there are often necessary. However, avoid making big changes or significantly violating your current plan without the court’s approval. Doing so could lead to problems if you and your co-parent should have a dispute involving your kids.
A family law representative may tell you more about successfully modifying your child custody orders under California law.