Making the decision to end your marriage is tough, no matter what, but adding children into the mix can make it feel extra stressful. No one starts a family with the intent of splitting it up, but often this decision is the only recourse: in Canada, divorce rates have been steadily increasing for years as social norms and family structures change.
When your children are teens or adults, this decision poses its own set of challenges. Your kids are old enough to have a full grasp of the situation and might be more emotionally involved than a younger child would. They’ve been a part of a cohesive family structure for twenty or thirty years, so breaking it up might feel extra painful for them.
Remember that while you might not want to put your children through a divorce, the alternative is teaching them that it’s OK to stay in an unhappy marriage, which can be more emotionally damaging than a separation.
If you’ve made the decision to divorce, it’s important not to emotionally unload the situation on your adult children any more than necessary. Here are a few important things to consider throughout the process.
Although it’s important to be honest with your children, some details of your divorce don’t need to be divulged, even if your kids are adults. Sharing too much—the missteps of your spouse that led to the separation, the nasty comments made in mediation—can easily damage your relationship with your child during such an emotionally fragile time.
Prepare them Financially
You should talk to your children about the financial effects of your divorce on the family. Whether they’ll be living with you in the same house, a new apartment, or venturing out on their own for the first time—chances are they’ll have to adjust their lifestyle and say goodbye to certain luxuries (a single income can’t buy seven types of cereal anymore.) If they’ve already moved out, they might be more affected by a change in inheritance or selling of family properties. Either way, it’s important to prepare them for any changes financially.
Own the Awkwardness
There will be awkward moments throughout your divorce. New living arrangements, different partners, and probably a lot of questions from your kids about the whole thing.
You won’t be able to shield them from everything painful, so it’s important to own the awkwardness and work through the uncomfortable moments. They will pass, and your family will become even stronger from it.
Work With a Professional
Navigating through a divorce can be both complicated and painful. To ensure things get resolved quickly and smoothly, be sure to find a divorce lawyer who is the right fit for you. Vexxit can help find your perfect professional match: simply visit the website, answer a few questions about yourself and your situation, and we’ll find the professional who best suits your needs.