Elkouri Heath, PLC


39555 Orchard Hill Place, Suite 215, Novi, MI 48375

Divorce with Teenage Children

 Posted on May 14, 2024 in Divorce

MI divorce lawyerTeenagers can have unpredictable reactions to their parents’ divorce. For some, it comes as a relief. Teens are usually aware of the conflict in their parents’ marriage and may be glad they are parting ways. Other teenagers who are close to their parents might be upset or fearful. Some may become angry at the parent whose fault they think the divorce is, especially if the teen finds out that one parent had an affair or did something else to damage the marital relationship. Parents must also understand that teenage children generally have a say in which parent they want to live with or spend more time with. A Novi, MI divorce and child custody lawyer can help you and your spouse plan to co-parent your teenager.

Tips for Parents Getting Divorced With a Teenager 

Teenagers are often more aware of what is happening and the underlying cause of the divorce than younger children would be. Tips for getting divorced when you have a teenage child include:

  • Manage the risk of acting out - Teenagers often get into trouble when their parents get divorced. Some teenagers realize that their parents are distracted dealing with the divorce, or will attempt to sneak off by claiming to be with the other parent. Parents should watch their teenagers closely for signs of mental health issues, drinking, or drug use and make sure that at least one parent always knows where the teen is.
  • Plan for college expenses - If your child is college-bound, you can create a plan to cover educational expenses like tuition, textbooks, and room and board. 
  • Understand your child’s discretion - Michigan courts give a lot of weight to teenage children's wishes when deciding which parent they will live with. While teenagers do not dictate their own custody plans, judges often respect their wishes. 
  • Discuss the issues - While parents of young children are often advised not to discuss their marital problems with the children and to keep them out of the conflict entirely, teenagers usually already know what the problem is. Teenagers will notice if mom is drinking too much, dad is seeing another woman, or their parents are always fighting about money. If your teenager is capable of identifying the cause of the divorce himself, it may be better to have a frank discussion involving both parents rather than trying to hide your problems from a teenager who already knows what they are. 

Contact an Oakland County, MI Divorce Lawyer 

Elkouri Heath, PLC is experienced in helping parents with children of all ages successfully co-parent. Our dedicated Novi, MI divorce and child custody attorneys have both been practicing law for over 20 years. Contact us at 248-344-9700 for a complimentary consultation.

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