Divorcing parents of minor children spend a lot of time worrying about how it will affect their kids. Yet parents whose children have grown up and left home may assume their kids will take it in their stride. That is a mistake.
Divorce will still have a big effect on your kids, whatever their age. It is still the break up of the relationship they’ve been able to depend upon all their lives. Here are some challenges it could present to them:
Wondering where they will go when things don’t work out
Let’s say your child starts a new job or moves in with a new partner. Both those moves come with an element of risk. Until now, they knew that if things went badly, they could call you up and ask to come and stay while they get their life back together. If you and your spouse sell the family house and move into separate, smaller places, that won’t be so easy.
Worrying about how family events will be from now on
What will happen to family routines such as Thanksgiving and Christmas? Can your daughter still invite you both to her child’s birthday party next month?
Guilt about not realizing you were unhappy
Your children may replay old events, wondering if they did something wrong that led to your unhappiness and eventual divorce. Was it their teenage antics where you took their side against your spouse that caused it all?
Concerns about your aging
Your kids may have assumed that you and your spouse would mostly care for each other for the rest of your lives. They might feel they must now give up more time to look after one or both of you, especially as you age and become less mobile or independent.
Getting help to understand the legal implications of your divorce and your options can help you move ahead in a way that reassures your children things will be fine.