If your older teenage child has a good relationship with both of you, it is typically best to try and keep things balanced when you divorce. There is less need for strict custody regimes as your child will be taking their own decisions about how to spend their time.
Here are some things you can do to facilitate your child’s independence and security when you divorce:
1. Stay in the same area
Maybe one of you wants to move away. Delaying it for a few more years could benefit your child enormously. Having you both close by gives them more options.
2. Keep your divorce civil
If your child sees you and their other parent still have a civil relationship, they’ll find it easier to move freely between households and communicate their plans honestly. If they feel you hate them staying with the other parent, they may start to cover it up with lies, such as saying they are staying with friends. That could put them at unnecessary risk as they go out to explore the world.
3. Keep duplicate sets of items at each house
Perhaps you end up living closer to the local concert venue than your spouse after the divorce. Your child may find it easier to crash at yours for the night when they want to go and see a band, even if they prefer to spend most nights at the other house. Having certain duplicate items in your house, such as pajamas, a wash kit, phone chargers, and a change of clothes makes it simpler for your child to decide to stay at short notice.
Getting legal help to understand more about the divorce process and your options to help keep it civil can benefit you and your children.