We often talk about how divorce impacts children. There is a lot of discussion about how to handle this delicate matter, but what about the effect that divorce has on adult children? This issue is often overlooked because people assume that an individual can handle a parent's divorce much easier when he or she is an adult.
Unlike having your parents divorce when you are a child, there are very specific issues that come into play when you are an adult. For example, parents of adult children may lean on their children for support during the divorce. While a young child may be sheltered from the details of the split, adult children may end up hearing about all the details of the divorce from their parents. Their parents may treat them more like a therapist or a best friend than a child. This can be extremely difficult for the adult child. On top of that, these individuals may feel they have no one to talk to about how the divorce is affecting them.
Beyond that, there may also be a financial burden for adult children of divorcing parents. After the parents divorce, one of the parents may end up needing financial assistance. Beyond that, since both parents are not taking care of each other, a parent may need medical assistance which may fall on the adult children.
Finally, adult children may fear that the divorce will affect the way their own families function. For example, if parents split up, holiday traditions may have to change.
Although these are all possible issues that those going through gray divorce may deal with, they are all issues that can be successfully overcome when people take a look at their behavior during the divorce process. It is also important that older divorcees come out of divorce with a sense of financial stability.