While older adults may not need to involve their children in the same way that divorcing spouses with minor children from the marriage might, most couples going through a gray divorce want to make sure they break the news to their adult kids the best way possible. Given that gray divorces are becoming more and more common in Michigan and throughout the country, it is important for seniors who are planning to tell their adult children about their divorce plans to consider some of the common concerns that adult kids will have. Articles from Divorce Magazine and AARP discuss some of the specific things to consider when you are making plans to tell your adult children about your divorce.
Recognize That Your Kids Will Likely Have a Strong Emotional Response
Children of all ages are likely to have strong emotional responses to news of a parent’s divorce, not just young kids. You should be prepared for your adult children to have a strong emotional response to news of your divorce plans. As the Divorce Magazine article underscores, even adult children who learn that their parents are getting divorced can feel “angry, betrayed, hurt, and heartbroken,” and they can grieve much like younger children do when parents separate. Just as with younger children, you should never get frustrated or angry with your adult child over their response, but instead should be open and honest.
Your Kids Might be Concerned (and Knowledgeable About) Your Finances
Unlike minor children in a divorce, your adult children may have particular concerns about finances in a gray divorce. While you are not under any kind of obligation to discuss your financial situation with your kids, it can be helpful to provide adult children with more information and details about your finances so that they will not worry about your economic well-being after a gray divorce.
Emphasize That Your Children Will Never be Asked to “Choose Sides”
Make sure your kids know that they will not be asked to choose sides in your divorce, either explicitly or implicitly.
Do Not Confide in Your Adult Children
If you want to keep your promise that your kids will not be asked to choose sides, do not treat your adult children as confidantes. Even if you have a strong friendship with your daughter or son, it is critical to avoid confiding in your child about issues pertaining to your divorce from their other parent. Once you begin confiding in your children, they may feel as though they are being asked to take sides, which can make your gray divorce much more difficult for everyone.
Learn More From a Divorce Attorney in Michigan
When most people think about the difficulties of two spouses telling their children about their plans to divorce, they are not thinking about adult children. Yet, as we have discussed, informing your adult kids about an impending divorce can be extremely difficult, and it can result in different reactions than if the children were much younger. If you have questions or concerns about your gray divorce in Michigan, you should know that an experienced Michigan divorce attorney can assist you today. Contact the Law Offices of Michael A. Robbins for more information about Michigan gray divorces.