Adult Children and Divorce

Older Woman and Daughter holding hands, in discussion about parent's divorce.

One of the most overlooked group of people affected by divorce is the adult children of the divorcing couple.  It’s easy to overlook those adults because they’re out of the house. Some may be in their 20s, 30s, or 40s, so it is simple to say that the separation of their parents should not have any real impact.

However, it is not that simple. When looking at all the legal issues that come up in a case, it is true that these couples do not have to worry about setting up custody arrangements or parenting plans. However, they do still need to understand that their children will be impacted by their separation.

Issues involving adult children are not normally addressed in a traditional divorce case.  Why? Children over the age of 18, with a few exceptions, aren’t going to be addressed by the court. The court won’t enter orders to tell either parent something they have to do for an adult child other than factors that may relate to financial support, such as paying for college or covering a special needs child’s care.  However, in a Collaborative divorce case, the parties get to choose the issues that are important to them and they want to discuss.

Why Discuss Your Adult Children During Your Divorce Proceedings?

It is a good idea to talk about and with your adult children during the Collaborative Divorce process. The coaches and child specialists can talk to the adult children and find out what’s happening with them and how the divorce may or not be affecting them. For example, if one spouse is speaking negatively about the other and hurting their adult child’s relationship with that parent, then the coaches and specialists can reach out to the adult child (with both parents’ permission) to learn more about what is going on.  This is helpful in trying to maintain a good relationship between the adult children and both of their parents.

The last thing that you want is for your children to blame you for the divorce or to feel blamed for it. Older children may also impact the opinions of younger children in the family, so bringing them into the discussion at a more adult level is vital.

If you are in need of help in a family law case, contact us at The Law Offices of Patrick Markey, P.C. Our practice is dedicated solely to family law.