Discussing a Divorce with Adult Children
For many couples, the decision to file for divorce can feel much less traumatizing on the kids if it’s put off until the children are grown and out of the house. While older children may be better able to cope with the news of their parents’ split, that doesn’t mean this news will be easy for adult children to hear, nor does it mean that you don’t need to be thoughtful and deliberate about how you discuss the divorce with your children. Read below for suggestions on how to talk about your divorce with older children, and contact a New York divorce attorney with additional concerns about your divorce.
Speak with your kids in person and all together, if possible
Even after your children are out of the house, news of a divorce can be shattering to your kids. If it’s possible, gather all your children together and have this conversation face-to-face. If your kids are too spread-out, consider using skype or another group video or audio chat system to talk. Your kids won’t feel as isolated if the conversation involves all of them, and this way they’ll already be together and available to provide one another with emotional support afterward.
Don’t ascribe blame to your spouse or share too much about your relationship
Your children may seem old and mature enough to hear details about their parents’ relationship, but never forget that you will always be their parents. Your relationship plays a prominent role in their childhood memories and sense of identity. If you feel tempted to vent about your spouse or blame them for the end of the relationship, find a friend or therapist to talk to instead of your child.
Let your kids share how they feel and check in with them regularly
Your children love you and want you to be happy. Even if they know that the divorce is, in the long run, the best thing for your and your spouse’s happiness, you may not be able to expect them to be thrilled at the news of your split. Don’t take offense if your children seem angry or disappointed with you immediately after learning about the divorce; allow them time to come to terms with the news in their own way. Be sure to follow up with them later to make sure they’re doing alright with the news.
For knowledgeable, caring, and sophisticated legal assistance with your New York divorce, contact the Hudson Valley family law attorneys at Rusk, Wadlin, Heppner & Martuscello in Kingston at 845-331-4100, or in Marlboro at 845-236-4411.