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Do I have to let my teen go live with her Dad?

Divorced parents of teens may suddenly find that custody arrangements that have fit their children's needs seem to be experiencing growing pains right along with their children. Right about the time of the teen years is when it is very common to undergo modifications to the child custody plan.

That's not to say that your teen is suddenly the one who is in charge of all things custody-related. But as kids grow up, their needs and interests change. It's understandable that custody arrangements might need to be tweaked to accommodate these inevitable signs of growth and maturity.

Perhaps you have a son who is a stellar athlete who longs for a shot at trying out for the varsity basketball team that consistently wins the state championship. But that school just happens to be located in your ex-husband's school district, meaning that for your son to transfer legally, his custody would have to be switched.

Should parents agree to allow their teenagers to live with the other parent?

It's not always a black and white issue. Is your child trying to avoid conflicts with you by running off to her father's house? If so, a few counseling sessions focused on conflict resolution might lead to a better outcome. But your teen could have valid reasons to want to make the change that have nothing to do with you or your parenting.

Finding out the motivation behind the proposed change is the first step. Once it's determined that it's not simply fewer rules or more privileges at the other parent's home that's driving the change, the three of you can come up with a viable solution.

Source: Today's Parent, "“I want to live with dad”," Susan Spicer, accessed Nov. 25, 2016

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