There is no doubt that divorce has a tremendous impact on young children. However, a divorce can affect your kids even if your “kids” are adults. Understanding what this means can help you protect your adult children throughout your split.
Big kids can still have big emotions
Young kids grapple with complicated emotions when something beyond their control – like their parents’ divorce – disrupts their lives. But people of all ages can take the news of parental divorce hard.
Adult children might struggle emotionally because they often understand the implications of a divorce. They know that the future will be uncertain and that their family structure will change. They can also recognize the people or factors that contributed to the split, which can complicate how they feel about their parents and romantic relationships in general.
Meeting with a therapist and seeking support from other adult children of divorce can help with this process.
They can play a more active role
Advice for parents is generally not to pull young kids into their divorce. Shielding them from the pain, frustration and stress of the process is often the top priority.
As kids become adults, it can be easy to feel like those same efforts to shield the children are unnecessary.
But the fact is that even adult children deserve protection and should not be put in the middle of divorcing parents, as it can put them in an awkward position.
And while adult kids may be capable of making their own decisions, asking their own questions and drawing their own conclusions, you, as the parent, have considerable control over what you share and put onto your kids. Thus, you have a significant impact on how the divorce impacts them.
You may need to talk about money
Your kids might be in college, depend on you for financial support or plan to take over the family business someday. They might also have expectations regarding their inheritances.
As such, they may have questions and concerns about the financial details of your divorce. Whether you share these or not, understand that your kids may have opinions and preferences in terms of property division and the use of financial resources.
Even if your kids are adults, they are still your kids. Appreciating how your split affects them can make navigating this process easier for you and them.