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How will your divorce affect your adult children?

When you have grown children living independently, you may not consider as much how you and your spouse getting a divorce will affect them. However, the rise in gray divorce has highlighted this question as more adults are experiencing the end of their parents' marriages.

While it is true that concerns such as custody will not be applicable, it is also true that your divorce may still have a significant impact on your older children. Knowing what these effects are can help you be a better parent during this difficult time.

How your children react

Youngsters are not the only ones who can get stuck in the crossfires of divorce. Avoid the temptation to vent to or share details with your adult children instead of with a friend or therapist. Break the news to them in person and keep them updated only on relevant information. Do not expect them to be your emotional support, as they may be going through their own emotional turmoil.

How often your children spend time with you

Divorce affects when and where families are together, whether or not visitation schedules are involved. Depending on the distances and relationships between your children and both parents, you may see a decrease in the time your children spend with you. They now have to deal with splitting or sharing holidays and ensuring their own children maintain a connection with both you and your ex. This can be tricky and delicate to work out, so try to be understanding.

How your children's circumstances can change

Without your spouse to rely on anymore, you may look to your children more for help. Possible changes include:

  • Moving in with a child
  • A child moving in with you
  • A child taking care of certain needs your ex used to

Post-divorce changes may also lead to increased financial strain for your children, including in the future if you and your ex have modified your estate plans. Do not underestimate the many effects of your divorce on your adult children.

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