Adult Children and Divorce

When it comes to divorce, a forgotten party is often the adult child of the divorcing parents.  A divorcing couple may believe that their adult children will be fine with the divorce. That is not true. Children of all ages, even those who are all grown up and no longer living at home, generally struggle emotionally when their parents get a divorce.  

Tips to Make Your Divorce Easier for Your Adult Children

Remember that your adult children will likely feel sad. If they have children of their own, they may feel like their anchor is gone. What will happen to the family unit? The same rules about divorce when you have young children are really the same for your adult children. Tips that will make it easier for your adult children include:

Adult children and divorce
  • Never ask a child of any age to take sides. This is still true no matter how old your children are. They should not be put in the middle of their two parents.
  • Never say bad things to your adult child about their other parent. Always be respectful of the other parent.
  • Never blame the other parent for the divorce.
  • Attend special events, like graduations, weddings, grandchildren’s activities, even though your ex-spouse is going to be there. Your ex is still the parent of your children.  Events involving an adult child or grandchild should be a time of celebration and amicableness focused on the that adult child or grandchild. 
  • When holidays come around, ask your adult children how they think they should spend them. The time will be spent differently than when you and your co-parent were still married. For example, as for Christmas, they may decide to spend Christmas Eve with one parent and Christmas Day with the other one.

Be available to listen to your adult children’s concerns. Respond without bad-mouthing their other parent.

How to Get Help with Your Own Emotions

It may be very difficult for you. Things will never be the same. Your adult children still need to feel that their parents are their anchor.  You are still their parent and/or grandparent to your shared child/grandchildren.

A counselor can assist you with dealing with your own emotions. A mental health professional has written a book called “Home Will Never Be the Same.” There is a section in the book about dealing with the holidays and how important it is to include the children in the discussion of how to implement the changes that will be in the best interest of the entire family.

For more information about how divorce impacts your adult children, or for information about any aspect of your divorce, contact us at Martinez Legal, P.C.