A divorce under any circumstances can be difficult, but it can be especially painful when a couple has been married for a long time. The divorce rate among couples who are over 50 years old has steadily increased over the past few decades.
Some couples wait until their kids are grown to go their separate ways, thinking their children will react to the break-up better if they are older. However, this may not always be the case. Studies show that even older kids who live on their own can be devastated by their parent’s divorce. This can translate to their own romantic relationships, making them leary of a commitment such as marriage. They can also feel stressed because they feel like they have to choose one parent over the other, especially in a high-conflict divorce. If you are concerned about how your gray divorce will affect your grown children, below are some issues to consider when helping them through the transition.
Tips for Helping Older Kids Cope
Society often tells us that after a certain age, a child is no longer a kid and is considered a “grown-up.” That may be true in certain situations, but even adult children still need their parents from time to time. They may be in shock at the news of their parents splitting up after being together their entire childhood. What they thought was a solid family foundation is now torn apart, which may leave them feeling sad, angry, guilty, and lost.
Here are a few practical ways to mitigate the negative effect you divorce may have on your children, regardless of their ages:
- Do not put them in the middle or make them choose sides.
- Consider their emotions by listening to them talk about their feelings.
- Give them time to grieve the loss of the family unit.
- Cooperate and communicate with your ex-spouse as much as possible on matters that affect your children.
- Seek counseling/therapy for yourself and your children.
- Do not talk negatively about your ex in front of them.
- When dividing property, allow your children to choose items of sentimental value to them.
- Plan accordingly for shared time during the holidays.
Overall, try not to turn your divorce into a battle zone. Use mediation or collaboration to resolve marital issues if you can. Be open and honest during the proceedings, including how the divorce may affect you or your ex financially. This may mean selling the marital home in which your kids grew up. Be sensitive to the fact they are losing a part of their childhood, but remind them that you will always be there for them, regardless of their age. This can help ease everyone into this next chapter of life.
Contact a Naperville Divorce Lawyer
The thought of getting divorced after many years of marriage can be extremely intimidating, not only to you but to your adult children as well. There are many issues to resolve, such as spousal maintenance and property division. That is why it is important to seek the legal guidance of a qualified Oak Brook divorce attorney from Anderson & Associates, P.C. We have handled many types of divorce cases and we will advocate for your rights. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 630-653-9400.