Divorce can prove to be particularly difficult for adult children

Contrary to popular belief, divorce isn’t just confined to younger couples. According to a 2009 study by researchers at Bowling Green University, the divorce rate of older couples has doubled over the last 30 years, and is likely to continue climbing as more and more baby boomers continue to age.

While divorces between older couples could certainly have financial repercussions, it would seem that the impact on their children would be minimal. After all, they are likely already grown-up, with jobs, mortgages and children of their own.

According to family experts, however, adult children may actually be more affected by a divorce than younger children.

“For all those years, they’ve had a family structure and a reality that they could count on,” said Audrey Silverman-Foote, a marriage and family therapist. “Now, all of a sudden, that ground has been ripped out from under their feet. It can be incredibly distressing.”

Indeed, adult children of divorce may experience feelings of anger, sadness and betrayal, and even find themselves unwittingly dragged into parental battles in both legal and non-legal settings.

“I honestly think that, in some ways, it’s worse for someone my age to go through this than a young child,” said a woman whose parents broke up after several decades of marriage. “Little kids are resilient. They adapt as they grow up. I’ve had 34 years of Mom and Dad being together. I thought I had this perfect family, and it’s all been shattered.”

According to Janice Green, an experienced divorce attorney and noted author, adult children going through a divorce should try to keep the following in mind:

  • Ask your parents to maintain civility around you and draw the necessary boundaries
  • Try not to get in the middle of arguments, acting as a go-between
  • Resist the urge to take sides as your feelings can change easily over time
  • Avoid digging around to determine the cause of your parent’s divorce as you may not like what you uncover
  • Accept the circumstances and try to be positive

To learn more about dissolution of marriage or life after divorce, contact an experienced and skilled legal professional.

This post is for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice.

Stay tuned for more from our Ft. Worth family law blog …

Related Resources:

Divorce is a huge deal even for adult kids (The Kansas City Star)