When an Arizona couple has children and they choose to divorce, one of the most important details they should consider is creating a co-parenting plan to address major parenting issues they may face in the future. The more that parents can openly communicate their positions on these issues at the end of a marriage, the better off everyone will be in the long run. During a divorce, parenting plans can be drawn up to last until a child turns 18 or is no longer a dependent. Therefore, even parents with young children can attempt to address concerns that may arise when their children become teenagers.
There are many matters that pertain specifically to teenagers when drafting a co-parenting agreement, and these can be easy to overlook. If they are not addressed and agreed upon by the parties at the time of a divorce or separation, they can become contentious issues that may cause additional expense and litigation after dissolution has been finalized.
For example, the plan may specifically address topics such as teenager curfews, obtaining a driver's license, obtaining a job before the age of 18, obtaining a permanent tattoo or body piercing, teenage sexuality and teenage substance abuse. The plan may contain examples of future consequences that the teenager may face if they break any of the rules in either household. If both parents are on the same page regarding these issues, the chance for any future disputes is minimized, and the child is also clear about what is expected of them.
Although these subjects may be uncomfortable to think about, particularly if children are still young, they are issues that will likely need to be dealt with when a child becomes a teenager. Due to the complex nature of divorces involving children, it is important to seek as much information as possible from an experienced family law attorney in order to obtain the best possible result.
Source: Huffington Post, "7 Tips For Co-Parenting Teens," Tara Fass, Jan. 23, 2013