When you have a teenage child who is approaching 18, you may wonder if it’s really necessary to put a custody schedule into place. They’re old enough to drive, go to their activities on their own and work a job.
While your teen may be close to full independence, it is important for you and the other parent to put together a custody schedule until your teen is 18. The goal of this schedule isn’t to be controlling but instead to be sure that you or the other parent know where your child is at all times.
Putting together a good schedule for an older teenager
How you put together a custody schedule for an older teen will depend on how independent they are and the circumstances affecting your case. For example, if your teenager works after school and pretty much only comes home to do homework and sleep through the week, you may decide to give custody to whoever is closer to the teen’s school and workplace.
Similarly, if you find that your teen always comes home after school and likes to hang out with siblings or friends, you may want to arrange child custody in a way that assigns them a home base for the things they will most likely be doing.
Of course, your schedule, as well as your ex-spouse’s schedule, will matter. Will you want your teen to go to the home where a parent is present? Would you be okay with them coming to one of the homes and just calling to say where they are that day? Talk to your teen about their preferences, but be sure that you and your ex have a good idea of what you want as well.
Putting a teenage child on a custody schedule can be difficult
Most courts understand that teens are at a point in their lives when they’re starting to become independent. Making them adhere to a custody schedule can be tough. Still, it is responsible to have one in place and to do what you can to be sure you are aware of where your child is each day.