There are a number of ways that age can play a role when child custody is decided in Minnesota and around the country; both the age of the parents and the age of the children involved may be factors. Bitter custody disputes can leave children emotionally scarred and drain their parents of resources, so it is preferable to resolve these matters amicably if at all possible. This may be a realistic goal even in contentious divorce cases as parents are usually able to put their personal feelings aside when the welfare of their children is at stake.
The age of the parents
When young parents face child custody and visitation decisions, their living arrangements may be an important consideration. Young people often work long hours and have busy social lives, which could make it difficult for them to give toddlers the attention they need and deserve. Many young people also lack the means to live independently, which is why they frequently share apartments with roommates or live at home with their parents. In this type of situation, it may serve the best interests of the child for the primary caregiver to be the parent who lives at home with relatives who could offer help.
The age of the child
The bond that children have with their parents is obviously something that should be considered in child custody discussions, but asking children to choose between their parents should be avoided as it can lead to guilt, resentment and behavioral problems. However, children should be listened to when they do express a preference about custody and visitation. This is especially true when the child involved is a teenager.
Anger fuels conflict and makes it difficult to find common ground. If you are a parent going through a divorce, you may be wise to look for a family law attorney to help you seek out amicable solutions. Child custody mediation is an alternative to protracted court battles that are public, expensive and sometimes devastating to the children involved. A skilled mediator may be able to help parents find an acceptable middle ground even in situations where litigation seemed inevitable.