If you are a resident of New Jersey and contemplating divorce, you may have concerns about how the decision will affect your adult children. Although “gray divorce” refers to couples over 50 ending their marriage, it does not mean their children are immune to the fallout.
When things change
When older parents divorce, their adult children can feel just as blindsided as younger children. Adult children may have assumed their parent’s marriage was rock solid and be surprised by the divorce announcement. As a result, they may feel angry or sad and experience a loss, mainly if their parents’ marriage lasted for many years.
The impact of a gray divorce
One of the most significant impacts of a gray divorce on adult children is financial. In many cases, adult children find themselves in the difficult position of financially supporting both parents. Adult children may also need to help their parents make critical financial decisions, such as selling the family home or dividing retirement assets.
In addition to the financial impact, gray divorce can affect adult children emotionally. Adult children may feel caught in the middle of their parent’s divorce, mainly if their parents cannot communicate effectively. This can cause guilt, as adult children may feel they must take sides or choose one parent over the other.
Another way gray divorce can impact adult children is through their relationships. Adult children of divorced parents may also be less likely to get married themselves or may have a more negative view of marriage. They may also struggle with their relationships if they repeat the same mistakes as their parents.
Avoiding negative consequences
As a divorcing couple, it is essential to be sensitive to your adult children’s feelings and needs during this difficult time. While avoiding all of the negative consequences of a gray divorce may not be possible, communicating effectively with your adult children and seeking support from other sources can help mitigate the damage.
Gray divorce can have far-reaching consequences beyond the immediate couple. For example, the impact of a gray divorce on adult children can be just as significant as on younger children. Therefore, be aware of these potential impacts and take steps to mitigate them as much as possible.