One of the most complicated challenges a custodial parent may face after a divorce is handling a child's request to live with the other parent. There are a variety of legitimate motives a teen or young person might have for making this request, but there are some guidelines for what to do in this situation. California parents may want to consider the following tips.
Whether keeping living arrangements as is or making changes, it's important to understand why a child is making the request. The child should be permitted to share opinions and concerns. It's usually best for parents to make an effort to stay calm and let a child talk without interrupting.
Both parents may need to get together and talk about a child's request. Solutions that do not involve relocation could be discussed. Even if the other parent is not part of a discussion, saying negative things about this parent in front of the child will not help the situation.
It's understandable for a parent to be upset when a child asks to live with an ex. While it can be hard not to take this personally, trying to look at the request objectively may help. To achieve this, one may need to get advice and share concerns with friends or a counselor. Having an outlet to express one's feelings about this issue could be necessary as well. This could help one to process thoughts and fears in order to talk about the subject more easily with a child.
When making adjustments to schedules, daily routines and other parts of raising a child or children, a parenting plan or custody arrangement might outline how to proceed. Some agreements provide flexibility while others are more rigid. Mediation or negotiation could help parents form arrangements together, which may offer more freedom.