Adult children in a divorce are often an overlooked group of people that are impacted by the divorce. Parents wrongly assume their divorce will not affect children who are no longer living at home and who have built lives of their own outside of the family unit.
Consider the Needs of Your Adult Children
The needs of adult children vary depending on how old they are and what is happening in their own lives. For example, children attending college are likely to be 18 or older, so they are considered to be adults under the law. But they often have the same questions as minor children.
- Will I need to change schools?
- Will the family home be sold?
- Where will I spend the holidays? What will we do about Christmas?
Adult children who have their own homes and perhaps have their own children have different questions:
- Will the financial situation of my parents change?
- Will one parent need financial help from me?
- Will one parent need to live with my and my family?
- How will the family dynamics change? Will my parents’ relationships with my children change?
- Do I need to pick a “side” in my parents’ divorce?
How the Collaborative Divorce Process Can Help Adult Children with Their Parents’ Divorce
In a Collaborative Divorce, adult children can be invited in to meet with their parents and a counselor, or a counselor individually, and express their concerns. Their parents can reassure them they will still be a family and the parents will still be attending their grandchildren’s important events.
It is important that the parents do not make their children take sides. The same rules apply to children of all ages: do not share intimate details about your divorce or the reason behind for the divorce with your children. Do not make your child your confidant.
This is often more difficult when the children are adults. In some cases, the adult child has encouraged one parent to get a divorce, either because of behavior they have observed, or because of information that one parent has shared with them.
It is important to keep children of all ages, even adult children, out of the personal information loop. The Collaborative Divorce process helps keep the adult children from feeling they have to take sides. It helps parents say, “This is our deal. You do not need to be here helping us solve it. We want you to go on and live your lives. We are still a family and both of us will still always be here for you.”
Contact Chase, Berenstein and Murray, Counselors at Law for Assistance
For assistance with any aspect of your divorce and to understand how the collaborative process works, contact us at Chase, Berenstein and Murray, Counselors at Law.