Talking to Your Adult Children about Your Divorce
For divorcing parents, talking to their children about the divorce can be one of the most difficult parts of the pre-divorce process. These discussions often include talking to children about the changes that will occur and stressing that they did not cause the divorce.
With adult children, talking about your divorce is different. You no longer have to worry about custody and child support issues or explaining the divorce in an age-appropriate manner. But you naturally still want to protect your children emotionally and continue to have a strong relationship with them, which can make any parent anxious about this discussion.
Their Age Does Not Mean They Need All the Details
When speaking to a young child about divorce, a parent generally leaves out all the details and focuses on the basics: Mom and Dad are no longer going to be married, they will live in separate houses, and you will spend time in both houses. As kids grow older, parents can fill in more details.
Do not assume that your child needs every detail about your divorce simply because he or she is an adult. Your child will ask questions and they deserve factual answers. What they do not need is all your personal details, such as why an affair occurred.
Talking to Your Adult Children in Person Is Best
It can be difficult to find time to speak with your adult child in person, especially if he or she no longer lives with you, but having this conversation face-to-face is ideal. If you can get your children together for this discussion, this is even better. But if this is not possible, a phone call or Skype session can work. Do not use being unable to see each other in person as an excuse to put this conversation off until you are done or almost done with your divorce.
Be Realistic with Your Expectations
You know your children best. You should know how they will react. Understand that even though they might have felt things were amiss for some time, hearing that you are getting a divorce will be difficult for them. Give them time to process the news and do not start making assumptions or demands about future holidays, milestone events like weddings and graduations, and time with your grandchildren. It is up to your child to plan these events for him- or herself and to determine the relationship you will have with him or her and his or her children.
Work with an Experienced St. Charles Divorce Lawyer
Taking to your children about your divorce can be difficult no matter how old they are. When your children are grown, you face fewer challenges regarding your post-divorce relationship with them and your former spouse, but you can still face some challenges. Contact experienced St. Charles divorce lawyer Matthew G. Shaw at Shaw Family Law, P.C. today to set up your initial consultation in our office, during which we can discuss specific issues related to divorcing at a later age. Call us today at 630-584-5550 for help.