Child experts, parenting experts, many lawyers and judges agree that children generally benefit when both of their parents are involved in their lives. Of course, exceptions sometimes exist in cases of abuse and in a few other situations.
If you are an older parent, say, close to retirement age or even in retirement, with a co-parent who is significantly younger, you might wonder if your age affects your chances of gaining joint custody of your children or of getting liberal visitation. The answer is that it probably will not.
Cooperation goes a long way
In any co-parenting situation, cooperation between both parents is critical for a smooth process to occur, and this is true no matter the parents’ age. It could be that, due to your age, you are not as able to chase around a young child like your co-parent would, but that does not make you any less capable of a parent. The mobility of parents of any age can be restricted due to disability, for example. As long as your co-parent recognizes what you have to offer and is willing to grant you the access to your children that you deserve, a judge is unlikely to disqualify a parenting plan just because of your age.
When a divorce is contested
Of course, not all separations are amicable, and some divorces can get quite heated. In such cases, a younger spouse could claim that the older spouse is unfit to have the children due to dementia issues, problems with driving safely and a host of other considerations. Assuming these claims are untrue, you and your lawyer can use medical evidence and driving test results to show your safety as a parent.
Even if there is some truth to these claims and even if YOU are the one who feels you might not be capable of caring for the children, co-parenting where possible is in the children’s best interests. A support network comprised of your relatives and hired assistants can be of great help. Remember that your mental and emotional age matters just as much, if not more, than physical age.