Adolescence has a way of changing everything – including access. Separated parents who have long settled into an access regime now must contend with the wishes of their teenager when determining visits and even with whom they live.
Two key issues come to mind when considering these changes. The first is the changing demands of school, social and working life of the teen. The second is when the sins of the parent come back to haunt them.
When the teenager’s life gets busy, access is viewed as an inconvenience. As such many access parents are confronted with voice messages saying their teen isn’t coming over this weekend. This of course is met with dismay and if there was ever any concern about the custodial parent undermining access, this scenario is certainly a set-up for conflict.
Access parents whose teenagers challenge the terms of access need to talk with them to restructure visitation with particular concern for the teen’s experience. This is certainly a new stage of life and any parent who thinks they can control their teen’s needs, will be sadly mistaken. This is not to say the tail now wags the dog, but rather, the access parent must appreciate the needs of their teen and in the interest of a good relationship, they must show flexibility.
By: Gary Direnfeld
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For more information, contact the Family Law Offices of Renee M. Marcelle at (415) 456-4444, or online at http://www.familylawmarin.com/--