When people in New Jersey decide to divorce, they may be concerned about how the separation will affect their children. Going through a divorce with children of any age can be a challenge, as can adapting to the co-parenting process. After all, divorced parents may have a wide range of problems with one another, but they still need to work together to raise their children and support their goals. Co-parenting a teenager can carry its own particular concerns, especially because going through adolescence can be challenging even when parents are still together.
When teens go through puberty, they face hormonal and physical changes. These can be reflected in changing behaviors, uneven moods and difficulties relating to their parents. Teens are also developing their independence and preparing for adult life: thinking about college or university, getting a summer job or becoming involved with politics or social justice. Teens can find themselves in conflict with their parents over rules and boundaries. This is an important stage in human development, but it can also challenge co-parents.
In the first place, parents may start relying on their teens to share information rather than directly communicating with a former spouse. Because their children are maturing in many ways, it may seem like parent-to-parent communication is less vital than at a younger age. However, this can be a mistake; parents may find that they miss significant challenges facing their teens because of their hesitancy to communicate after divorce.
In other cases, the challenge may come from being too inflexible and trying to stick to a parenting plan developed when the teen was a small child. Divorcing parents will always face challenges when renegotiating their relationship, and a family law attorney might be able to help people come to a fair agreement or even a new agreement on child custody and visitation.