Some parents believe that once their child reaches a certain age, the child should decide how much time to spend with each parent.
This is commonly referred to as teenage discretion.
While the judges in Nevada don’t hate teenage discretion, they don’t love it either.
The Nevada Supreme Court recently addressed the issue of teenage discretion in the case Harrison v. Harrison.
What the Supreme Court determined is that parents can agree to teenage discretion.
However, if the judge decides that teenage discretion puts your child’s health, safety or welfare at risk, the judge can strike or modify any agreement for teenage discretion.
Here’s what you need to know about teenage discretion:
Generally, both parents must agree to teenage discretion otherwise, it is unlikely a judge will order it.
If you think you are going to go into Court and can argue that your child is 15 and should have teenage discretion and the other parent doesn’t agree, chances are the judge won’t allow teenage discretion.
It is important to remember that age, maturity and preference of your child are just part of MANY factors the judge will consider in awarding custody.
If you think teenage discretion is good for your case, get the agreement of the other parent.
The parents must also have a custody schedule in place that allows the child to deviate from that schedule.
It isn’t enough to go into Court and say “we just want our child to decide where to spend time.”
The Court will want to see a regular visitation schedule.
Whether it is week on/week off or every other weekend, the judges want to know that if your child decides he hates you for 2 months, you will still have some visitation with your teen.
Once you’ve agreed to it, chances are the Court won’t undo it.
Teenagers are picky.
One week they love you and the next they hate you.
If you give your teen the authority to decide where they want to spend time, and that isn’t with you, chances are you will not be able to go to Court and ask to get rid of the teenage discretion.
KEY TAKEAWAY: Before you agree to teenage discretion think long and hard about whether it is something you really want. Once you both agree to teenage discretion, it will be really hard to undo it.