dupage county divorce lawyerIn recent weeks, we have looked at some of the common challenges that arise for parents of infants and toddlers and elementary-aged children during the divorce process. This week, we continue with helpful information for parents of teenagers. Parenting teenage children can be challenging even under the best circumstances, and it can be especially difficult to help them cope with your divorce. It is important to make an effort to understand their needs and to address them through your child support order and the allocation of parental responsibilities.

The Effects of Divorce on Teenagers

Teenagers are likely to cope with divorce very differently when compared to younger age groups. On the one hand, their advanced maturity level may help them better understand the reasons for your divorce, and you may be able to have more meaningful conversations with them about the process. However, you should still try to keep the parent-child relationship in mind and avoid treating your child like a friend or confidant, especially when it comes to complaining about their other parent.

On the other hand, teenagers may also turn to unhealthy or destructive coping mechanisms if the divorce process is particularly hard on them. They may be susceptible to substance abuse and other risk-taking behavior, and they could struggle to maintain healthy relationships with their friends or romantic partners. Many teens also see their academic performance suffer during the divorce process, and they could even begin to show symptoms of serious mental health issues like anxiety and depression. If you see that your child is having a difficult time, make yourself available to talk and consider seeking help from a professional therapist if necessary.

Custody and Child Support for Teenagers

For divorces involving younger children, the allocation of parenting time and parental responsibilities is often left in the parents’ hands with the assumption that they know what is best for their children. However, older children can have a greater influence on these decisions. Illinois courts will consider a child’s wishes if they have the maturity and reasoning ability to express their own preferences. In many cases, teenagers will prefer to spend more time with one parent, perhaps because of the home environment or the desire to avoid disrupting their social lives.

Child support is also an important factor in divorces involving teen children. Keep in mind that according to Illinois law, child support obligations can continue beyond your child’s 18th birthday if they have not yet graduated from high school. You may also want to consider addressing costs related to your child’s extracurricular activities; their vehicle, gas, and car insurance; and even their future college education.

Contact a DuPage County Family Law Attorney

At Davi Law Group, we can advise you of the issues to prepare for and address in your divorce involving teen children, and we can represent you as you pursue a resolution that fulfills your child’s needs. Contact our Wheaton, IL divorce lawyers today for a free consultation at 630-580-6373.






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