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Teen troubles: What to do if your kids don’t want to see the other parent

When you go through a divorce, one of the things you have to establish is a parenting plan. The other is your custody schedule. Your children, for the most part, are required to go along with whatever schedule that you come up with.

That makes a lot of sense for younger children and preteens, but once your children start getting older, they may have complaints or concerns. If one of your teens starts stating that they don’t want to go to the other parent’s home, then it’s time to sit down and have a thorough conversation.

Your teen’s wishes will be considered if this has to go to court, but in the meantime, it’s a smart idea to talk to them about their concerns. Some common reasons why teens suddenly stop wanting to go to another parent’s home may include:

  • Not wanting to be away from friends in the neighborhood
  • Being tired from extracurricular activities
  • Not liking the other parent’s new partner or spouse
  • Not wanting to be with another sibling due to an age difference 
  • Differences in how each parent disciplines them

When you talk to your teen, find out what the problem is. If there is a legitimate concern, such as verbal or physical abuse, it’s important that you take it seriously and speak with your ex about the problems you’re hearing about. However, if there are other issues, like your child not wanting to switch homes during a school week, then you and the other parent may want to talk about adjusting your schedule to make it easier for them to focus on schoolwork and get enough rest. 

If you decide that modifying the custody order is necessary, your attorney can help you file the modification with the court.