Raising Illinois teenagers can be challenging even when their parents have a strong and healthy relationship. When they are divorced, it can be even more difficult. Divorced parents who are in this type of a situation should make sure they keep up their lines of communication and stay involved in their children’s lives.
If the parents have been divorced for a long time, the teen years can feel like the end of a long, hard road. This can cause parents to drop their guard and assume that their children can carry messages back and forth between them or that they behave in the same way with both of them. These assumptions can lead to problems because teenagers still need help and guidance at this age even if they are becoming more mature.
If parents divorce while their children are teens, the kids will be dealing with the upheaval at the same time they are struggling with the difficulties of adolescence. Parents may assume that children can drive themselves between their homes, but failing to coordinate on this can mean they take advantage of this freedom. Parents should also try to spend time with their teen’s friends instead of assuming the other parent will do so. It is important for parents to be flexible with scheduling since teens have other responsibilities and interests.
Whatever the age of their children, parents who are considering a divorce should not assume that they will automatically have to go to family court to determine custody and a schedule for parenting time. Many are able to negotiate an agreement out of court with the assistance of their respective attorneys. Different ages will present different challenges, and if parents divorce when their children are young, they may need to modify the parenting schedule several times over the years.