The Impact of Divorce on Adult Children
Recently, the New York Times reported on the soaring increase in divorce rates later in life (known as “gray divorce”), and the importance of making sure you stay grounded during the process for the sake of your kids. According to a study conducted by the AARP, 66 percent of divorces initiated later in life are by women, most of them in their 40s.
Unfortunately, the vast amount of research and counseling that exists with regards to children of divorce couples relates to young children, leaving many wondering what the “correct” process is for adults whose parents are divorcing. Many find themselves without the support that they need, as they cannot find specific therapy or support groups for adult children of couples going through divorce.
In response, one person created a support group and a blog to help adult children whose parents are going through divorce—called “Time for Serenity.” Unique in the service it provides, it has reportedly helped thousands of people around the world seeking emotional assistance during this time.
Lack of Research & Support
Academics are catching on to how important the subject is as well, as previous research applies to past generations and there is little to help the current one. Some adult children of these divorces feel like they, in turn, have been pressured to take care of their adult parents after the divorce; something that is especially difficult to do as they are trying to deal with their own sense of loss and change. Experts warn parents going through divorce with adult children that, on the contrary, just because your children are “grown up” doesn’t automatically mean that they will be fine with your divorce; in fact, experts are seeing a lot of trauma for this generation of adults coping with parents divorcing later in life. Being careful not to drag them into contentious and/or emotionally charged conversations about fault and other issues is important. Doing so can sometimes lead those children to question whether they can maintain a healthy relationship and want children of their own.
Suggestions from the Experts
Experts have suggested certain behavioral modifications for parents divorcing later in life (with adult children), including but not limited to the following:
- Make sure you deliver the news in person, not over the phone or in email;
- Have contact information for relevant therapists on hand; and
- Be prepared for your children to potentially go through a phase of questioning their own marriage as a result.
Compassionate Representation during Divorce
If you or a loved one is going through a divorce, we can help. We provide compassionate representation and guidance to clients living in Fort Lauderdale, Broward County, Boca Raton, and surrounding areas. Contact us at the office of Sandra Bonfiglio today and let us get started working with you to achieve significant peace of mind.