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How Gray Divorces Are Impacting Adult Children

 Posted on April 30, 2020 in Divorce

Naperville divorce lawyerThe Baby Boomer generation has never been one to follow tradition and maintain the status quo. In past generations, it was often said that the longer your marriage lasted, the less likely you were to get a divorce. Today, things are quite different. A large number of older couples are choosing to divorce later in life, and the divorce rate of those 50 and older has doubled over just the past two decades. For those 60 and older, the divorce rate has tripled. This trend makes sense, however. Many older couples today find themselves with grown children out of the house and realize they are no longer happy in their marriage. It is never too late to take a step towards happiness. Gray divorces, however, do have their unique challenges, and baby boomers themselves are not the only group impacted. The millennial children of the baby boomer generation, most of them now adults, are also impacted by their parents decision to divorce. Changing family dynamics can be difficult for everyone involved, including adult children.

All Grown Up

Adult children often struggle to cope with their parent’s separation, despite the assumption that adults should be able to easily handle the split as they are no longer children tied directly to their parent’s decisions. In reality, specialists say that millennials today are feeling the impact of the increasing gray divorce rate in a number of ways. Firstly, adult children of divorce often feel they have no one to talk to about their parents separation. “There is this message you are getting that you should be doing fine,” says one therapist and divorce specialist. “You are all grown up and this is your parent’s decision. Adult children of divorce feel they do not have anyone to talk to about it.”

Additionally, many adult children of divorce say they are burdened with hearing too much information about their parent’s unhappy marriage. While adult are certainly more easily able to cope with a major life change like a divorce, gray divorcees should avoid over-sharing with their children. Instead, older divorcees should seek other confidants to vent and process emotions with.

Specialists say that adult children of divorce also feel the need to care for their newly divorced parents. Many millennials say their parents lean on them for both emotional and financial support. Suddenly, older parents may be in need of a job again, or financial assistance, at a time when many of today’s young adults feel they can barely support themselves. In addition to financial support, adult children of divorce tend to feel like it is their responsibility to care for each of their parents separately, while before their parents had each other. “Adult children of a gray divorce are definitely affected because now they are affected by the possibility of having to take in their senior parents as if they are the children,” says one family attorney who has worked on a number of gray divorce cases. “They have to deal with parents who may be confronting sickness, who may be unemployed for the first time in their adult life, who may not have partners anymore or may not have a social schedule and recreational schedule of their own.”

Minimize the Impact

Older couples hoping to spare their adult children from the stress of their late in life divorce can take a few proactive steps. Divorce attorneys recommend seeking not only qualified legal help, but help from other professionals as well. Older divorcees should meet with an accountant to review their financial situation. Additionally, any emotional needs should be tended to by a therapist or counselor. Specialists say adult children can be resources in a time of need, but keeping boundaries in tact is important.

Call a Naperville Elder Divorce Lawyer

Deciding to divorce late in life can be a scary, difficult, and life changing decision. Before taking that step, schedule a free consultation with one of the experienced DuPage county divorce attorneys at Pesce Law Group, P.C. We have many years of experience helping late in life divorcees, and we believe it is never too late to find your happiness. Call us at 630-352-2240 today.



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