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How Will My Divorce Affect My Adult Children?

Parents of young children often think about how their divorce will affect their children, sometimes to the point of postponing the divorce until the children are in their teens or out of high school. Although this is not always the healthiest choice, it is a choice that some parents make. If you are considering filing for divorce, do not assume that the divorce will have no effect on your children. It does not matter if your children are toddlers or have toddlers of their own; your divorce will have an impact on them, an impact that does not necessarily have to be negative.

By understanding the specific ways a divorce can affect adult children, you can make the divorce easier for yourself and for them. In fact, your divorce could be the beginning of a much different, much healthier relationship between you and your adult child.

Your Divorce can Impact Future Milestone Events

Although you will not have to worry about school plays and planning weekend trips far in advance to fit with your custody schedule, you might have to think about issues like graduations, weddings, and your grandchildren’s milestone events. Maintaining an amicable relationship with your former spouse can make these events much less stressful for your adult child, who might feel the need to “play referee” at these events otherwise.

You could Inadvertently ask too Much of Your Adult Children During a Divorce

It is good to have a strong relationship with your adult child, but make sure to maintain healthy emotional and physical boundaries. You can discuss issues and emotions with your child that you could not at an earlier stage, but remember not to

push your child into the position of being an unpaid counselor or a sounding board for all of your negative emotions. Your child may need space to process the divorce and his or her own feelings about it. Let your child have this space.

Your Adult Children could Feel Obligated to “Pick a Side”

Just like a parent of a young child must do, a divorcing parent of an adult child should keep the negative discussions about his or her former partner to a minimum. Bashing your former spouse and pressuring your child with expectations of how he or she will spend holidays can make him or her resentful.

Work with an Experienced La Crosse Divorce Lawyer

Getting divorced is rarely easy. The difficulties of divorce are often magnified for parents, and although not having minor children means that you will not have to think about issues like child support and child custody in your divorce, being the parent of one or more adult children can cast its own challenges on your divorce. Contact our team of experienced divorce lawyers at Moen Sheehan Meyer Ltd. to set up your initial consultation in our office to learn more about the legal and other issues you will face.

Published May 26, 2017
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