Divorce is a difficult time for children, no matter what age. When children are young, they are naïve and may not understand the full implications of their parents’ divorce.
But, when children are adults, it can leave a deeper impact due to their maturity and comprehension. For this reason, there are key issues you should take into consideration when dealing with your divorce and the emotions of your adult children.
For assistance with matters regarding family law, contact the family law attorneys at Andalman & Flynn for assistance in Montgomery County, Maryland.
Don’t Use Them as Emotional Support or as a Middle Man
One of the biggest mistakes parents can make is informing their adult children of all the happenings of their divorce simply because they are adults. But you should remember that this time period in their lives is as difficult for them as it is for you. Adult children are going to want to be there to support you as their parent, they may feel torn because they want to support both parents so feel torn in between you, they can develop their own feelings about the divorce which may impact their interactions with one parent, they also may shut down or act as if they don’t care. No matter what their reaction is, this is a time for you to be their loving supporting parent, not for you to use them as your support system. It’s important to find another way to vent about all of the issues and anger you may be feeling towards your soon to be ex, without burdening your children. It will be difficult for them to keep their own emotions in check when placed in such a difficult position and as the process proceeds.
Answer Their Questions, But Don’t Divulge the Details
Once they reach adulthood, children are more likely to understand the complexities of divorce and are expected to have a lot of questions. When they ask questions, it’s imperative to find a way to answer their questions without divulging all of the minute details. Be honest, but they don’t need to know the intricacies of why your marriage has failed (especially if adultery is involved) nor do they need to be involved in the strategy of how your case is handled. Even when asked, err on the side of caution and be conservative and what you discuss with them. You have raised them to be contributing members to society and to form their own opinions so let them do just that when dealing with the divorce. There is no need to try and play favorites or have them love you and hate your ex. Allow them time to process what’s happening and ask the questions they have without all the details that surely will display themselves in the courtroom. Your kids will appreciate your willingness to be open and honest about the process but to let them form their own opinions.
Reassure Them This Is Not Their Future
For them, this period will be a time of doubt and questioning. They will start wondering when their parent’s marriage started to dissolve and question if everything they grew up knowing about marriage and love is a lie. Many times they begin reflecting upon their own relationships and making comparisons. This is the time to make sure your adult children understand that what their parents are going through is not their guaranteed future. Teach them to learn from this time and use that as a model to ensure their relationships don’t end up like their parents, whether that is teaching them communication is key or to that they need to make time for their marriage and work at it. Marriage isn’t easy and it requires constant dedication, sacrifice, and work. Although they are older, they are still very impressionable, and it’s important to use this time to teach them to learn and grow, just as you will learn and grow from your mistakes and failures you can also use this time to help them be more successful in their relationships.
Divorce, Custody & Family Law in Maryland
With offices in Silver Spring and Rockville, MD, Andalman & Flynn offers legal representation to divorce clients in Montgomery County as well as in Prince George’s and Howard counties. We know how complex and sensitive matters involving divorce and children can be, and we want to make sure your children’s best interests are well taken care of as they begin a new way of life.
We can assist you in resolving your divorce and resulting legal matters in court or through alternative means of resolution. Contact us today.