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How to handle divorce when your children are adults

Divorce has a significant affect on the children in a marriage -- even if they're divorced. If you're facing a divorce after your children have become adults, here are some things that you need to keep in mind:

Your children may be upset

You can't expect your children to handle the news without some strong emotions. Even if you're happy to be moving on with your life, your children may not be able to rejoice along with you. In particular, don't expect them to be thrilled if you've already found a new romantic partner.

They don't want to know details

Whatever your private reasons for divorce, your children don't need to know the details. Keep the specifics of your financial, sexual and emotional conflicts to yourself. Telling your children might feel cathartic, but you could be damaging your relationship with them by denigrating their other parent.

They hope you can be accommodating

Like it or not, you are tied to your ex-spouse through family relationships. That means you'll sometimes have to be in the same room with your ex-spouse. Don't make it hard on your children by refusing to come to family events, like weddings and your grandchild's piano recitals, if your ex (and his or her new partner) is there. You divorced their mother or father -- they didn't divorce their parent.

They may be scared about something

You'd probably expect young children to be scared about the future when their parents divorce -- but you might not expect adult children to feel the same way. They might -- even if their fears are different than those of their younger counterparts. Adult children of divorce worry about things like whether their inheritance will be lost if you remarry and who will be there for you as you age if your spouse isn't. Please don't treat their concerns as selfish. Talk to them about the issues ahead, including estate concerns and end-of-life issues.

Divorce is never an easy proposition for any family -- but your family can pull through it if you keep these tips in mind.

Source: divorceandchildren.com, "8 Things Adult Children of Divorce Desperately Want You to Know," Christina McChee, accessed April 05, 2018

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