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Timing is Key in Divorce

 Posted on September 17, 2015 in Divorce

b2ap3_thumbnail_divorce-children-timing-illinois.jpgMany divorce attorneys notice a surge in divorces in September. Some call this time of the year “divorce season” as many couples choose the fall to start their separation process. For parents with children, a fall divorce may seem like perfect timing. In many situations, parents choose to stay together, even while unhappy, in hopes of protecting their children. Many view their parental responsibilities as essentially completed when their children embark on their own lives, leaving for college or starting jobs. While the idea of soldiering through an unhappy marriage for your children’s sake may seem like the most responsible and selfless choice, you may actually do more damage to your children, in the long run, by staying in an unhappy marriage. Despite this, many parents choose to separate right as their last child transitions to college and starts living their own life.

Young Children

Breaking the news of divorce to young, school aged children can be heart-wrenching. A parent’s primary goal is to provide love and support to their children, and splitting up a family hardly seems like the right way to go about that. In reality, however difficult it seems at the time, breaking the news of your divorce to your young children is often better than staying in a toxic marriage. Family discord, not divorce, is what ends up taking a major toll on children. Staying in a troubled marriage to protect your children may end up damaging them emotionally far more than separating from your spouse. Children grow up seeing friends' parents get divorced, and are no strangers to the process. While the initial impact of the divorce may be emotionally challenging, providing your children with relatively stable routines and lifestyle can help them adjust. They will survive and end up much better than they would have if they had grown up in an unstable household.

College Students and Young Adults

Discussing divorce with a young adult is a completely different situation. In many ways, your college freshman is much more like a toddler than your school aged children. They are excited to embark on their own journey, but anxious about the world, and crave and rely on the support of home. It is a time of transition in their lives, and news of a divorce can be devastating. Many universities across the country have dealt with this issue by requesting that parents wait to initiate their divorce until a month or two after their children are settled into their new lives. Your college student or young adult may seem independent, but, in reality, they need the support and stability of a solid home base more than ever. If you break the news of your divorce to your college freshman, they could focus on that and neglect what is important: their personal growth, development, and studies.

Many divorcees notice their divorce impacts their adult children much harder than younger children. For younger children, they hear on the playground, “no way... now you get two Christmases and two birthday parties” when they announce their parents are separating. For adult children, however, they may feel like their childhood was a lie. They question if their parents were truly happy or if they themselves were the cause of the divorce.

Be Realistic

The best possible step you can take is to be realistic about your own marriage. If you are in an unhappy marriage, with children or not, consider your options. An unstable home can be much more dangerous to children’s development than a divorce. If you do choose to separate as your last child leaves your home, be strategic. Wait until they are established in their new lives, and assure them that they had nothing to do with the separation. Remind them that they willl always have the support of both parents, and a warm home to come to for the holidays.

Be sure to speak to a qualified Naperville divorce attorney if you are considering a divorce. Contact the Pesce Law Group today at 630-352-2240 to learn more today.


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