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Graying Divorce and the Effect on Adult Children

Older couples are getting divorced at increasing rates; some studies cite numbers as high as double the numbers from 1990. This has led to an explosion of research on how older couples cope with divorce. How do they handle healthcare insurance? How do they support two retirements? But very little research has been done into how this affects their adult children. This post will go over how adult children cope with recently divorced parents.

Most children are in their 20s and 30s when their parents get a late divorce. At this point, most children probably assume that their parents will remain together forever ? so it comes as a huge shock when they find out that their parents are divorcing. Despite this shock, there is very little support for adult children who cope with late divorces.

Many parents treat their adult children as adults and do not try to walk them through the process. While on the surface this may seem appropriate however all children, regardless of age, will internalize their parents decisions ? including divorce. This may cause them to question why the divorce came about and if they contributed to that decision. It is a natural reaction for any child.

It is important for parents to remember that their children have not had the months and years of contemplating this decision to soften the blow. For most children, it will come as a shock. Parents should tell their children together to minimize the emotional impact.

If you are thinking about filing for divorce then you should probably consult an attorney. Aside from the legal issues, like filing out the paperwork and filing it properly, an attorney can advise you on the risks inherent in divorce. There are a number of problems that implicate retirement, taxes and property. Divorce is not a decision that should be taken lightly nor should divorce proceedings be taking lightly. An attorney can help you craft a plan to navigate through these issues.

Source: Herald Tribune, "Late divorce affects children, no matter how old," Jane Gordon Julien, May 24, 2016

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