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Teenagers and parenting plans

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myowndystopia posted 2/15/2014 09:54 AM

I have a meeting with lawyer on Monday and I'm sure as we work on the MDA we will discuss the parenting plan for my one that is still a minor- DD15. Those that have teenagers- what do your parenting plans look like and what do I need to consider in this part of the D? What's working and what's not working?
Thanks to all!

iamsoblind42 posted 2/15/2014 10:31 AM

Ask your kids what they want. Mine said they wanted to spend 1 week with WH each month and 1 weekend. WH agreed because it was not what I wanted but what the kids wanted.

Gemini71 posted 2/15/2014 12:30 PM

The kids definitely get a say at that age. Since I have kids in grade school, middle school, and high school, we put in the agreement that once they are 14 or in high school, the kids can choose whether or not to have their parenting/visitation time with the non-custodial parent. This is mainly to allow for school activities and homework projects etc.

Merlin posted 2/15/2014 12:35 PM

Week-by-week lessens the impact of being "suitcase kids".

inconnu posted 2/15/2014 12:39 PM

My oldest turned 18 weeks before the divorce was final, so as it turned out, he wasn't part of the parenting plan. Younger son was 15 at the time. Both are now 18 and over, so they (and I) have no legal obligation for visitation with their dad any more. Not that we ever actually followed it, to begin with.

Ex didn't question going with the standard visitation agreement. Of course, at the time he was so wrapped up with being with his soulmate shmoopie that he had ignored both boys for months already.

What the reality turned out to be - I stay out of whatever relationship the boys have with their dad. All communication is between them, unless it involved finances (medical/insurance expenses mostly). Younger son did a couple of overnights at his dad's the 1st year, but nothing since. Both boys went on vacation with their dad/OW once, to visit family on ex's side, and came home swearing they'd never do that again. And now, once or twice a month, the boys will have lunch with their dad, or go over to his/now-wifetress' house for the afternoon.

It's not anything I ever discussed with their dad, but it seems we were both on the same page about letting the boys decide when and how they wanted to spend time with their dad. It could be I'm being way too generous here, and giving ex credit for something he never even thought about. But hey, what we've been doing works for my kids, and that's what's important to me.

myowndystopia posted 2/15/2014 13:30 PM

Thanks- I'm kind of thinking the same. Just didn't know how rigid the parenting plan has to be at this age. Because she is the youngest with adult siblings (including a married sister with kids) I see the need for lots of flexibility! I'm hoping he is going to see that as well. And really there is nothing worse than making a 15 year old girl do something she doesn't want to do! Example- holidays- we will both have to work around older siblings schedules just as we have done in the past but now it involves one more gathering, one at mom's AND one at dad's. And I like getting all kids and their SO together frequently - and IF he were ever to do that well of course I would want DD15 to be involved. Just not sure how that is written into a plan

GreatRoleModel posted 2/15/2014 14:17 PM

Mine refused to listen to the kids. They were in 8th and 10th grade at time of separation now in 9th and 11th. The schedule is EOW until monday morning and then he gets 5 of the 11 weeks in the summer and holidays are alternating. My kids hate it and they would prefer one weekend a month and then a 1-2 weeks in the summer. They have tried to tell him that they want to come on sundays and he will not budge. They have dinner visitations during the week if they are available but no overnights. Everyone says the kids have a say but ultimately if the kids do not cooperate then he can sue me. The kids have asked to go before a judge but I really do not want that for them, they already struggle with their father and I think that would damage what little is left of their relationship. If you have a spouse that will listen to the kids that is great, but my NPD ex refused and proclaimed they need their father time.

Bluebird26 posted 2/15/2014 23:00 PM

My kids were only 11 & 8 at the time we separated. The ex wanted 50/50, I did not. Neither did the kids. We eventually agreed on a parenting agreement that they have to go to their fathers EOW and half school holidays.

Now the x hardly ever follows the schedule, he is rarely ever on time to pick them up, refuses to take them, claims he is working when he isn't, but he knows I can't afford to take him to court over it. That been said he threaten on a weekly basis of legal action because I don't follow the court orders when the kids refuse to go with him.

I really wished we had the flexibility of kids choosing once they get to a certain age of who they want to visit/live with. The kids hate going to their fathers.

Oldest DS is now 15 he goes through periods where he refuses to go and wants nothing to do with his father. I get caught in the middle of their drama even though I try my hardest to stay out of it. I am always the 'bad guy', either I am breaking the court orders by allowing him not to go and stay home or the ex believes I am turning his children against him if I stay out of it.

Good luck this is so hard.

devistatedmom posted 2/16/2014 08:55 AM

My kids are now 17 and 14. When we did up the agreement they were 13 and 10. We put in the agreement 2 overnights during the week, and EOW. Both kids went. Then, he moved away and couldn't do the weekday overnights anymore. They became dinners only. Then the oldest refused to go many weekends because of sporting events. XH moved closer again and wanted his weekday overnights back. Both kids said no. He brought it up to them first, and they both said no, so he couldn't "blame" me.

Now, DS 17 rarely goes for the overnights. DD14 goes most of the time. Both kids beg off the dinners during the week as much as possible.

It makes me tough on me because most of the time they beg off at the last moment...so I think I only have to cook for me, then at 4pm I find out one of both kids are staying. Of course he loves it when I look a little annoyed at the situation, and plays on it to the kids that I don't "want" them here. I keep asking the kids to please tell me in advance, not at the moment I think they are going, but they don't get it.

So, if I were you starting this with a 15yo, I would ask 15yo what they would like, and that is what I would put in the papers. Just know, at this age, it probably won't be consistent or smooth. older teens have jobs, projects, homework, girl/boyfriends, and just stuff going on with friends. If my XH lived close by, it might be different, but with the way it is...I try to let the kids work it out with him. It does and doesn't always work.

kg201 posted 2/16/2014 10:17 AM

We just agreed to Fri to Fri schedule, but a huge part of the plan is the daily activities (who picks up, drops off, etc).

But my 16 year old has a lot of pull in my opinion. Fro example it is my weekend with the kids, but my 16 y.o. Wanted to go to NYC with his mom for her birthday, so I let him.

He is going to be trying to get his license in the next few months, so I assume he will make some of his own choice once he can drive. He's a pianist, and I assume he will be going to the house with the piano to practice no matter whose night it is.

So definitely work with your child to figure out what they need, if your ex is also on the same page about this.

myowndystopia posted 2/21/2014 13:39 PM

This is the language we have proposed in parenting plan- draft 1 for day to day schedule as well as Christmas and thanksgiving.

The parties agree to be flexible regarding the parenting schedule and will communicate weekly for the purpose of arranging time for DD15 and father to have time together depending on everyone's schedule. In the event the parties cannot agree, the father shall have time with DD15 the first Saturday of each month.

I know....very loose but what I wanted as I think it will work best for us - unless he goes bat shit crazy. I think initially he will be too wrapped up in OW to do much of anything and with DD15 anxiety and depression we need flex time!

Phoenix1 posted 2/21/2014 15:51 PM

My youngest was 16 at the time of the D. Visitation was left entirely to her discretion, and all travel expenses paid by XPOS (he moved out of state). The reality is that she wants nothing to do with him. At that age, they should simply be given the choice.

myowndystopia posted 2/21/2014 17:25 PM

Pheonix 1- that's our thought is she will be the one arranging it. If its on her terms she will be more likely to go. Her dad won't haul her around to meet with friends anyway and that's what will be important to her!

Must Survive posted 2/21/2014 18:18 PM

Didn't even do a "parental plan". DS was 14 when STBXH was kicked out. Did not want anything to do with his father. It is in our agreement that I have 95% physical custody and that DS(now 16) can decide when he wants to see his father.

First 2 years almost nothing. No overnights except for 1 weekend camping. About every other Saturday they now go have lunch or a movie.

DS16 has not met OW#3. Still says he will never meet her.

I am not involved at all with their schedule. STBXH calls DS on his cell phone and arranges. DS16 does not "ask" me, just lets me know if has made plans with his father.

Holidays are the same. This past Christmas was the first time DS even saw his father on Christmas. For a total of 30 minutes! First holiday since D-day they even saw each other.

STBXH lives 5 miles away, but a million miles from our lives.

scarednbroken posted 2/21/2014 19:25 PM

This is a big concern of mine also. I spoke quite a bit during my consultation about it. My WH has proclivities that make me concerned about DD15 being with him alone. I wanted to insist that one of the boys is always with her. The oldest will be 18 by then so he won't be required to go. And he doesn't want to see his dad at all....bc he knows. L said at 18 he won't be required.

I am hoping that parenting plans can take many forms.

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