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Handling teen custody as they approach independence at 18

On Behalf of | Dec 14, 2021 | divorce |

Right now, you and your ex-spouse share a teen who is quickly approaching adulthood. Once they turn 18, you know that they’re planning on moving out of your home. You have plans in place to help with college and support them as they go out on their own, but in the meantime, they’re still on a custody schedule that you need them to stick to.

Your ex-spouse doesn’t think that the custody schedule is important anymore, because your teen is 17 and largely able to go where they want at any time. They have a job, they have a vehicle and they don’t need much oversight. You, on the other hand, think that your teen should be staying at a specific home each night and be largely sticking to the custody schedule.

Navigating teen custody isn’t always easy

You’re right that navigating teen custody isn’t always easy, especially when your teen is highly independent already. Still, the custody schedule should be adhered to. If the custody schedule isn’t working for you or your teen any longer, then it is appropriate to have a chat with them and the other parent about one that would work better. Until they’re a legal adult, this plan is something you do need to keep up with.

If the plan isn’t working, you can request a custody modification. Until then, everyone should be on the same page and realize that this plan is in place to protect your child while they’re a minor. It’s designed to help both parents know where they are as well as to be sure that your child is provided for until they are at least 18.