Choosing to divorce before your children turn 18 years old means arranging custody, doubling your child’s belongings and moving them back and forth. For this reason, some parents wait until their children reach adulthood to divorce.
However, while conducting the legal aspects of a divorce may be easier with adult children, it’s still important to consider how the event will affect them emotionally. Here are a few tips for helping your adult children through this transition.
Don’t badmouth your ex
Any child counselor will tell you not to damage your ex’s image as a role model to your child by talking about them negatively. However, those with adult children may feel less inclined to maintain this barrier.
Although adult children are less impressionable than when they were young, you can still create serious trust issues by pitting them against their other parent. It’s okay to say that you’re feeling frustrated or sad but try not to overshare details of your marital issues with your adult children.
They may distance themselves
Whether your adult children are in agreement or protest of you and your ex’s decision to divorce, a typical response to the change may be distancing themselves from the situation. Be prepared for them to skip out on holiday gatherings and other altered traditions that may make them feel uncomfortable.
Try to connect more often
To keep this separation from permanently distancing you from your adult children, you may need to make more effort to be involved in their lives. To do this, try to be open about discussing the divorce.
For example, if they tell you that they are feeling uncomfortable in your new house, make lunch or movie plans with them. Even if they aren’t responding to your texts, send one every now and then to wish them a great day.
Adjusting may take longer
When your children are living under your roof, they are forced to accept the new norm of having divorced parents. However, after moving out, it may take longer for them to come to terms with this new reality.
In fact, you may even adjust to your new life sooner than they are able to feel comfortable about their parents living apart.
Find other means of support
Though your children are grown, you should not rely on them for support through the emotional, legal and financial hardships of divorce. Just as if they were young, reach out to trusted family members and friends for help.
Another source of support is a skilled Family Law attorney. A lawyer can help sort through all the negotiations and paperwork for your divorce to make it as quick and painless as possible.