Family law: Alberta teens often overlooked when parents divorce

On behalf of Gary Kirk of Kirk Montoute Dawson LLP posted in Family Law on Tuesday, August 8, 2017.

There are times when adults forget that teenagers aren’t yet adults. Even though Alberta family law takes teens into consideration, these young people have a lot of emotions to contend with even when things are going well in their lives. When it comes to divorce, adults in teens’ lives may take it for granted that these teens are old enough and mature enough to deal with what’s happening; however, that may not always be the case.

It isn’t easy for teens when their parents split up. Even if they saw it coming – with the increased tension or arguing – or if it just seemed to come out of the blue, teens may feel like no one understands what they’re going through. It’s important for parents to let their older children know too that their child’s feelings, whatever they may be, are justified and real, and they should do whatever they can to help their teenagers cope with the changes happening in their lives. These young people may experience shock, confusion, anxiety, anger, guilt, sadness, embarrassment, relief or even hope.

Both parents need to pay attention to their teen’s emotions and recognize whether or not their child is able to handle what is going on. If the emotions a teen is experiencing are starting to affect the day-to-day activities in his or her life, it may be time to get some help. If teens are depressed or having trouble managing emotions, which may lead to self-harm, they should speak with a counsellor.

Seasoned Alberta lawyers with experience in family law will be able to point divorcing or separating parents in the right direction when it comes to helping their teenage children. Legal counsel will also help with the divorce mediation process, which takes children into great consideration. Lawyers can also provide valuable suggestions based on their experience with similar cases.

Source: Families Change British Columbia, “Teens Guide“, Accessed on July 28, 2017

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