Worrying about how children will handle a divorce goes beyond the younger ages that are often talked about. While preparing small children for a divorce is something that needs to be talked about often, it's just as serious to prepare for how divorce will affect children that are now adults.
While not widely known, a large percentage of divorces happen once the children have left home and are attending college. If you and your spouse are talking about divorce and are curious as to how it may affect your adult child, the following are some of the more common reactions that have been noted.
Loss of Security in the Home
Even though your children are now adults and have left, the idea and safe space of a home is one that they likely still hold dear. When the topic of divorce is brought up it is not uncommon for children to feel as if that home is now broken - and in some ways, it will be. The best thing that you can do here is have this conversation with your kids as a united front. By doing so, they are more likely to see the logic behind the decision rather than it being about one person wronging the other.
Confusion and Frustration
Though it's adults that you're presenting this news to, it's still a challenge to hear this type of information. The relationship that one's parents have can be put on a pedestal and shape the child's relationships with others, which can make this news a little confusing and frustrating. If your child displays these types of emotions as you talk to them, be patient. Remember that this is something that's new for them and allow for them to ask as many questions as they have. By doing so, you're able to squash any emotions that may get pent up and come out later in a moment of weakness.
Questions and Distance
Far too often we think that because our children are now adults, they'll be able to handle the news of the divorce much easier - but that's not always the case. One thing that you may see is that they distance themselves after the news, which is often a sign that they are trying to process the information. In those times, if they ask you any questions, feel free to answer as much as you're comfortable answering. This will allow for it to be an open conversation from the get-go, which can lead to a better atmosphere in all relationships down the road.
The team at O'Keefe Family Law knows that divorce is much more than the decision to separate and the complex documentation that comes along with it. If you're looking for a divorce lawyer that can look beyond the legal aspects of your situation and can take you in as a friend, look no further. We will be there for you at all points of your divorce.
Call us today for a consultation or questions, and browse the rest of the blogs that we've posted for more information and topics that could be beneficial for you. Thank you!