Gray divorces are becoming increasingly common, and while financial matters are often the main focus, there are some family considerations to keep in mind as well. It’s common for couples with adult children to give little thought to how the divorce will impact them because there are no custody exchanges or visitation schedules to uphold. However, the divorce of your parents is a major event in your life no matter your age, and it’s important to understand how to make the process as easy as possible on your adult children.
The first thing to remember is that even though you may not have to co-parent with your ex after a gray divorce, you’re probably going to still have to deal with each other to a degree. Your children may go on to get married, have birthdays and have their own children, and you will both likely want to be present for these important milestones. The more you are able to put aside your differences and focus on the event and the person, the easier it will be.
However, there may also be times where you can’t handle being in the same room with your ex. This especially common when the divorce is still fresh and both parties are still trying to get settled into their new independent lives. If you don’t want to attend a family event where your ex will be present, be honest about your feelings.
There may be a way to accommodate both of you, such as one person coming for the first half of the event and the other coming for the second, but it’s important to also be prepared for this not to happen. Just like minors, your adult children don’t want to be in the middle of the divorce or feeling like they have to pick sides. It may help to talk to your ex directly and figure out a solution between yourselves.
Source: Divorce Magazine, “4 Tips for Successful Grandparenting After Divorce,” Aug. 01, 2016