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The Impact of Divorce on Older Children

Divorce rates remain impressively high. While there is a multitude of research out there that breaks down those numbers and which couples get divorced for which reasons, one thing is unmistakable ? older couples are divorcing at increasing rates. In fact, some studies find that they are divorcing twice as much as they were 20 years ago.

While most studies and services have focused on assisting older couples through divorce, relatively little support has emerged for the adult children of these divorces. The children, who are often in their mid-20s to mid-30s, are left without parental or therapeutic support. Most parents consider their children adults and believe that they can handle it dispassionately.

But while the divorcing parents may have had the benefit of months or years to weigh their options, for most adult children this will be unexpected. The sudden shock of not having married parents is a huge blow to any child, regardless of age. Moreover there are very few therapists and support groups for adult children of divorced parents.

Children always ponder if the divorce was their fault. If the child could have done something differently to keep his or her parents together. It is imperative that parents tackle this issue as soon as possible. Most therapists recommend that parents discuss the divorce together with their children and that this news should be broken to the children in person.

Divorce is not an easy decision for anyone. The end of a marriage carries a serious emotional cost. If you are considering divorce, then you may want to speak to an attorney. An attorney can go over the financial and legal implications in a divorce, which is especially important if you are over 50. Attorneys also offer emotional expertise. Your attorney will have gone through several hard divorces that day. They understand what you are going through and how to help you.

Source: Herald Tribune, "Late divorce affects children, no matter how old," Jane Gordon Julien, May 24, 2016

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