By: Breanna Latt
Divorce is difficult on everyone involved, but is often the right choice for you and your family. As parents of young adults, your assumption may be that it’s easier for your children now that they’re older. Although there is truth in that statement, the family will still grieve the loss of a family unit that was familiar and safe. Here are tips for navigating divorce with young adult children, from the perspective of a child of divorce.
Understand the Challenges of Sharing Family Time
The holidays look different for everyone involved after a divorce and as your children become adults. It will be a difficult adjustment period that can often feel lonely and unfamiliar. While difficult, you will likely have to accept that your children are now trying to figure out the best way to split their time so everyone feels included. It can often feel like there is never enough time, and it can be stressful to navigate, even as an adult.
Sometimes relationships don’t work out and go as planned, and that’s OK, but at the end of the day, it’s best to foster a relationship of peace with your kids. In my experience, the best way of doing that is expressing the desire for time together and the understanding that life is busy.
Support Your Young Adult As They Navigate Financial Changes
Finances will begin to change in many ways, but some of these ways will affect your children. It is never black and white, and sometimes kids (even adult ones) have to grow up a little quicker and figure out their own health and car insurance, tuition payments, cell phone plans, etc. My advice here is to support your kids in whatever way you can; it may not be with money. Sometimes keeping them on your plan — with them making their own payments — will save them money and stress. When families split, many things are left up in the air. Ultimately, everyone will make their own decisions and will get through the changes.
Keep Your Kids Out of Disputes With Your Ex
The most important tip I could give is to avoid putting your kids in any position of giving advice. While they may be capable adults, your ex-partner may be a parent or close stepparent, which is setting your relationship with your children up for problems. When all is said and done, your trivial moments of anger with your ex could very well only frustrate your children. We tend to become protective over loved ones when necessary — angry remarks will likely just fuel this fire. All in all, lots of people get divorced and work through these new challenges and come out the other end. Everything will be OK, but it is your job to support your kids through these hardships. They can and should be there for you too (and the other parent) because that’s what family does, just be wary of sharing too much negative information.
If you need support in navigating your divorce, or child support and parenting plans, contact Andersen Law PC for a free consult. We also have numerous videos and blogs related to divorce, and divorce and parenting that are full of helpful information. Get more information on helping your child through your divorce here, and encourage your child to check out our website, YouthOfDivorce.com, which is full of resources for kids of all ages navigating their parents’ divorce.