Gray Divorce, divorce over the age of fifty, doubled between 1990 and 2010 and is expected to triple by 2030. This means there are a lot of adult children who are experiencing divorce as their parents move on from each other.
Adult children experience a wide range of emotions as their parents separate, sell the family home, start dating new people and maybe even remarry sooner or later. These emotions impact their lives and marriages too. They may worry that one parent will be financially devastated and dependent on the children. They may worry about one or both parents being lonely and depressed.
They may experience the loss of their childhood home, their childhood room. They have to navigate new holiday routines. Adult children often wonder if their previous family life and everything they believed about it was all a sham. Yet they are often forgotten in the divorce process. Too often, these issues can result in estrangement from one or both parents as the children feel an obligation or are urged by one parent or the other to take sides. Estrangement from a parent can lead to the separation of grandchildren from the grandparents, impacting multiple generations of the family. While parents may feel ready to move on, experience a sense of freedom, and be ready for a new life. They may be surprised by the reaction they get from “the kids”.
Parents of Adult children may wish to consider bringing in a child specialist to help their adult children through the divorce process. It gives the children an avenue to express their concerns and to begin to work through the feelings and issues of the divorce as they are experiencing it. Both parents and children can be guided through the difficult transition of divorce and work to maintain the family relationships after the divorce.
Carol Hughes and Bruce Fredenberg recently published their book “Home Will Never Be the Same Again. A Guide for Adult Children of Gray Divorce.” It’s helpful to adult children who are experiencing or who may have never gotten over their parent’s divorce as well as to the parents of adult children.
Bruce and Carol recently presented a workshop on Home will Never Be the Same Again at a conference in San Diego, California hosted by The International Academy of Collaborative Professionals, and the Collaborative Practice Group of San Diego.
The Collaborative Practice of San Diego is a nonprofit, multi-disciplinary referral network of independent professionals of attorneys, mental health professionals and financial advisors working together to learn, practice, and promote Collaborative processes for problem-solving and the peaceful resolution of family law issues in regard to co-parenting, with an eye toward preserving the emotional, as well as the financial assets of the family. Contact us today to learn how collaborative divorce works through your family’s emotional needs during your separation.