When you think about divorce being tough on kids, you typically think of young children who still live at home. These are school-aged kids who wanted a stable home environment. Parents will even, in some cases, decide to stay together until the kids grow up and then get divorced.
The reality, though, is that divorce is hard on adult children, too.
Adults who split up later in life are said to be going through “gray divorces.” Not a lot of attention was given to this trend until 2012. That year, research showed that the amount of divorces that fit this billing had doubled in just over two decades — starting in 1990. That fast upward trend made people realize how popular senior divorce was becoming.
A divorce at that age can really hit adult children hard because the rituals and traditions that they enjoy have been around for so long. They may have spent 30 years celebrating Christmas at mom and dad’s house, for example, only to have that stripped away. This also impacts younger kids, but a 5-year-old doesn’t have decades of family memories.
Adult children may also be keenly aware of the new circumstance when big events come up, like graduating from college or getting married. These are things they expected to do with two married parents, not two parents who are divorced and possibly seeing other people.
This isn’t to say that gray divorce is the wrong option, but it’s simply wise to consider how it’s going to impact the kids and what steps can be taken to make it easier on them. Planning ahead for things like holidays and weddings may make everything go smoothly. Advance estate planning may also need to be done as assets are split up, considering how they’ll eventually be passed to the kids.
Source: Yahoo Health, “Why It’s So Hard for Adults When Their Parents Divorce,” Rachel Nuwer, accessed Nov. 08, 2016