Talking to Adult Children About Divorce
When most Floridians with children from their marriage are getting divorced and worrying about how their kids will react, their children are still minors living at home. Certainly, minor children can take the news of divorce with much difficulty, and the processes of determining child custody and time-sharing can be complicated and contentious. Yet older adults, especially retirees living in Florida, can also find it difficult to speak with their adult children about their plans for an Orlando divorce. Indeed, even though it might not seem likely, adult children can go through many emotional ups and downs related to their parents’ decision to get divorced, especially older adults planning for a “gray divorce” after decades of marriage.
An article from AARP discusses some of the difficulties that adult children can face in a gray divorce and makes some recommendations for parents who need to discuss their divorce plans with their adult children.
Explain That Both Parents Are On the Same Page
Just as it can be helpful for minor children from the marriage to hear that both parents have reached the decision to divorce together, it can also be beneficial for adult children to know that both parents are in agreement about the divorce.
Emphasize That Your Kids Will Not Be Forced to Choose Sides in the Divorce
While it often seems like a given that minor children from a marriage will never be asked to “choose sides,” so to speak, in a divorce, adult children can be treated somewhat differently. Often, parents and their adult children have relationships that are more like friendships than parent-child relationships, and as a result, adult children can feel as though they may be put in a position where they are asked to choose sides. Just as it is essential to emphasize to minor children that they will never be asked to choose between their parents, it is also very important to emphasize to adult children that they will not be placed “in the middle” of the divorce.
Know That Your Adult Children Will Likely Be Concerned About Finances
Many adult children recognize that divorce can result in financial difficulties, particularly in the short term. In a divorce, spouses who have become accustomed to sharing the costs of living in a single home can end up struggling financially after a divorce, and it can be more difficult to bounce back after a divorce for older adults who are already retired. While minor children might not be thinking about financial issues, your adult kids may have friends who have gone through divorces, or they may have gone through divorces themselves. Accordingly, they know how complicated a divorce can be in terms of finances, and they are probably worried about you.
Although it might be difficult to discuss financial issues with your adult children, it can be helpful to reassure them that you have thought through the financial consequences of the divorce, and that both parents have a financial plan for moving forward once the divorce is finalized.
Contact an Orlando Divorce Lawyer
Do you have questions about gray divorce in Orlando? One of our dedicated Orlando divorce attorneys can talk with you today about your options. Contact Anderson & Ferrin for more information.