There are times when there is a change is a situation or the children reach a certain age when it is appropriate to re-visit the joint custody schedule.
In other words, the schedule you may start out with may not be in the children’s best interest when they reach a certain age. You might start hearing things from your children about the current schedule they are on. It is not only appropriate, but loving, to seek another consultation at this time. Changing joint custody schedules due to age is common and let’s children feel as if they have a say in how they live. This does not mean do as they say. This means consult with a professional either by yourself or hopefully with the other parent.
Many children when they reach the age of 15 or 16 do not like to change houses anymore. It is important not to take this as a rejection of they want more time at one house. Often parents force the joint custody schedule and create rifts with their children for years. Teenagers are difficult to begin with. They are struggling to be independent and often battle their parents for control over anything and everything. This is one area to not battle in.
Try to work with them (it probably will be only one child). If they insist on wanting one home base and that is all that is going on (they are not angry and wanting to punish one of you, or one household is much more permissive than the other one), work with them. Let the parent whose house they are not sleeping at as often, have more dinner times. It will pay off for everyone.
Finally, in closing, please remember that joint custody means shared custody. You are sharing raising your children together, even though you have decided to divorce. Think everything you do through, use professionals for advice (even if the court doesn’t order it), do not take your anger at your ex-partner out through custody and visitation issues, and remember that everything you both do must be IN THE NAME OF THE CHILD.