When parents decide to end their marriage, the youngest members of the family may go through a difficult time mentally and emotionally. Young children struggle with divorce because they may not fully understand what is going on, but teenage kids may also struggle. They may be older, but they are not immune to the impact of divorce.

North Carolina parents understand the importance of providing their children with as much continuity of lifestyle and stability as possible during this time. With an intentional effort and a reasonable custody plan, it is possible to provide teens the opportunity to maintain strong relationships with both parents well after the divorce is final. Because of their age, a teen’s initial reaction to his or her parents’ divorce could be anger or aggression, which is normal.

One important thing parents can do is to avoid conflict with each other that the kids can see. They should not feel as if they are in the middle of the two parties, and parents should not criticize them when they express their feelings. If a teen does begin to act out in response to a divorce, parents will need to set clear limits while still finding ways to assure the teen he or she still has the love and support of both parents.

The impact of a divorce can be difficult for teens, but North Carolina parents can do certain things that will help them navigate this difficult time. A fair and sustainable custody and visitation plan is crucial, even for older children. It can be helpful to work with a family law attorney who understands the sensitive nature of custody issues and can assist with the pursuit of a final order that works for the whole family.