Whether you are just separating from your soon to be ex-spouse or you are modifying an existing child custody schedule, your primary concern is probably the same. As the parent of a Washington teen, you are concerned about your child’s well-being. Adolescence is hard enough and you don’t want to make it even more complicated. You may be wondering how your child will react to the change and what you can do to help your child during the transition.

Three Things You Can Do Today

You may not be able to control how your ex-spouse parents, but there are things that you can do today to help your child adjust to a change in visitation or child custody. Specifically, you can:

  • Communicate with your child – Most parents of teens, regardless of their marital status, know that this can be difficult. However, it is critical. You know your child best and know how to get your child to listen. Maybe it is over dinner, in the car, before bed, or via text or email. Regardless of how you communicate it is important to tell your child that she is loved and safe.
  • Develop your child’s relationship with your ex-spouse – This can be hard. However, as long as there was no abuse or neglect, it may be important for you to encourage your child to spend time with her other parent so that she feels secure and loved by both of you.
  • Recognize the importance of her peers – Some of her friends may be going through the same thing or there may be a support group in the area. Either way, teens crave interaction with their peers and it may provide an important outlet for your child.

Most of all, continue to listen to your child and be responsive to her needs.

Fight for Changes That Protect Your Child

If you need help developing or changing a Washington State Parenting Plan that is in the best interests of your child then we encourage you to find out more about child custody arrangments and support by reading the free resources available on our website and by calling us to schedule a confidential consultation today.

Molly B. Kenny
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Divorce and Child Custody Attorney Serving Bellevue and Seattle Washington