It’s Important To Have Someone You Trust By Your Side

Avoid putting your adult child in the middle of your divorce

On Behalf of | Jun 7, 2024 | Divorce |

Usually, it’s the parents of young children who find themselves wondering how to navigate their divorces without stressing out their children. 

However, divorce rates among seniors have skyrocketed in recent years, to the point that one out of every four divorces involves couples 65 years of age or older. That means that it’s no longer uncommon for the “children of divorce” to be full-grown adults.

If you’re going through a “gray divorce,” what can you do to avoid putting your children in the middle of your split? Here are some suggestions:

Be open – but not too open

Refrain from telling your children all the intimate details of your marriage and why the divorce is necessary. It’s enough to say that you’ve grown apart or want different things out of life – and unnecessary to tell them that their other parent has been having affairs for decades.

If your children seem insistent on knowing the reasons, accept that they are trying to process their feelings and offer them your love and support, but stay firm about your decision to keep your marital dispute as private as possible.

Time things carefully – and work together

It can really upset the family dynamics if one of your children finds out before the others – but this isn’t the sort of announcement you want to make at a holiday gathering. 

In addition, it’s better if you and your spouse can tell your children about the divorce together since that minimizes the potential that either of you will denigrate the other in front of them. Ask your children to meet you for an important family discussion.

Set boundaries – and enforce them

Don’t use your children as messengers – no matter what their ages. In addition, remember that your children are not your confidence. Find other sources of support when you need to express your grievances or discuss your legal strategies. 

If your spouse doesn’t adhere to this plan and your children start trying to “pump” you for information or they start passing messages along, remind them that they are not a party to your divorce. 

Divorce at any age can bring up a lot of family conflicts, but you can minimize the impact of your split through an effective legal strategy.