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Why do parents wait to divorce until the kids grow up?

There is no single reason why parents wait until their children are adults to get divorced. In some cases, the parents haven't started having relationship issues until then. Financial issues could play a role. The empty nest could impact the parents' relationship.

So, there are many factors in play, and no two cases are identical. While it's not fair to stereotype all parents, it is worth noting that many parents do have similar reasons for waiting. These include the following:

  1. The kids are more mature. Parents worry about young children who won't know how to move forward without the family unit they're used to, but kids in their 20s and 30s have a stronger, more independent standing.
  2. The kids have their own lives. They work and support themselves. They go to college. They have serious boyfriends and girlfriends, or they're married and have kids. Their parents splitting up doesn't directly impact them as much.
  3. As such, parents don't have to worry about some of the common divorce issues, such as child custody plans and child support payments.

This doesn't mean that the divorce won't impact the children, but getting divorced when you have two children who live outside the home and have their own families -- and your grandchildren, perhaps -- is far different than getting divorced with two young children who need constant care and will see a far bigger impact in their own lives.

That said, it's still important to know all about your legal options at any age. There are constants to divorce, no matter when it happens, such as property division, financial planning and more.

Source: AARP, "The Way They Were," Brooke Lea Foster, accessed Oct. 06, 2017

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