More and more, couples are choosing to divorce after age 50, often after their children are adults and no longer living at home. In fact, aging baby boomers have contributed to the divorce rate doubling for those over 50 since the 1990s.
However, older couples seeking divorce often don’t realize how their split will impact their adult children. They think because their children are adults, their divorce will won’t be hard for their children to process. Yet, in some circumstances, adult children face difficult challenges when their parents divorce.
Some of these challenges include the following:
- Older parents may rely more on their adult children for emotional support during a divorce, putting the children in a difficult situation if they want to maintain good relationships with both their parents.
- Divorcing parents may overshare about what circumstances led to their divorce or about their new dating lives, making their children uncomfortable.
- Because divorcing couples with adult children don’t have to establish a custody agreement, adult children can feel torn about how to structure visits with their parents.
- Adult children can question if their parents just waited until they were grown up so they could divorce. They might blame themselves for how many years their parents were unhappily married.
- Adult children can suffer from their parents failing to remain civil after the divorce. The adult children can lose time with their parents during holidays and family celebrations if their parents can’t handle spending time together.
- Adult children may need to help a parent who suffers a big financial setback through a gray divorce.
- Your gray divorce can impact your adult children’s relationships. They may question if they want to get married and avoid it because they don’t want to divorce years later like you did.
You need to be prepared that your divorce may shock your adult children. You will need to be patient, allowing them to process it on their own and work to maintain a good relationship with your ex for the long-term good of your family.