LEGAL ALLIES, TRUSTED PARTNERS

What if my child wants to live with the other parent?

If you happen to have children, your relationship with your ex-spouse will never truly be over. Particularly if your children are younger, it is highly likely that you will end up managing a co-parenting situation for many years.

Shuffling the children between two households can be challenging enough when they are young, but problems often appear when the children become teenagers. It is not uncommon for a teenage child of divorce to want to live with one parent specifically. According to Psychology Today, it is important to keep communication with your child open and honest if your child wishes to live with the other parent.

Why is this a problem now?

If your teenage child mentions that he or she wants to live with the other parent, it can feel like a sucker punch. It often seems to come out of nowhere as well: the child may have been shuffling back and forth between houses for years without a complaint.

Keep in mind that as children age, they become more independent. Dragging their belongings between two households can get exhausting, and it tends to get more difficult to manage swapping houses as the children get older.

How can we have a good conversation about this? 

To avoid an outburst, it is vital to keep communication open with your child. You may need to re-adjust your co-parenting schedule to accommodate the wishes of your child. In essence, sometimes loving somebody (like your child) involves letting them go at some point.

While it can be hurtful to give up time with your child, negotiating this delicate situation is the best way to maintain positive relationships with your children as they age.