Typically, when parents with children divorce, the focus is on helping younger children and teens adjust to the new parenting and relationship dynamics that will emerge from the split.
But make no mistake, no matter how old the “children” are when their parents divorce, they will experience unfortunate repercussions due to the loss of the stability of this primary relationship in their lives.
Prepare your adult children for the divorce
No child, no matter their age, deserves to be blindsided by their parents’ divorce. You might rationalize that they must have seen in coming. But in reality, your adult children could have become desensitized to parental unhappiness or figured that was just how mom and dad handled their relationship.
Others may have been too far removed from the home fires due to career duties and their own relationships to realize that their parents’ marriage was on the ropes. Regardless, before filing the papers, this subject needs to be broached with them.
Try to tell them together, in person
This might not always be possible if your adult children live out of state or for other reasons, but when possible, make this effort with your soon-to-be ex-spouse. That can eliminate the need for one parent to assume the role of “bad guy” in the divorce and have the kids feel pressure to take sides.
Understand this makes your adult children vulnerable
For many adult children of divorcing parents, the divorce causes them to question everything about their childhoods and their ties with their family. They may wonder if this is a harbinger of a fracture in their own marital relationships in the future. They may think that the only reason that their parents stayed married all those years was to rear the kids.
Ask your primary care provider or even your Macon family law attorney for recommendations for a family counselor if any of the parties is having a hard time adjusting to the divorce.