It is may come as a surprise to hear that adult children are also affected by the divorce of their parents, as much as younger children.
Whether 5 years old or 45 years old, divorce is a major transition for both the parents and their children. A divorce affects the children in different ways at different ages. The world that they knew is changing in a radical way. However, because the courts do not recognize the needs of adult children in a divorce, the impact on the adult children of the couple divorcing is often overlooked.
The Collaborative Divorce process is ideally suited for situations where children are at different ages and stages in life. The Collaborative Team has divorce coaches who will help the parents through the emotional minefield of divorce and there is a neutral child specialist whose role is to the voice of the children, whether they are minor children or adult children.
One pitfall of divorce is that parents may lean on their adult children emotionally for support and not realize it. One parent might actively try to get the children on their side “against” the other parent. Having a child specialist in the Collaborative Divorce process gives us the ability to work with adult children and parents, to help make sure that the parents are not somehow burdening their children with their divorce.
Don’t Ask Your Children to Take A Side
It is important not to ask your children to take sides in the divorce because, even as adults, your children love each of their parents. Your children know both parents together brought them into the world and gave them life, and if one parent is asking the child to agree that the other parent acted horribly or is guilty of certain behavior or is to be disparaged and looked down upon, then you are also asking your adult child to believe those negative aspects are attributable to your adult child as they are a product of both parents.
Regardless of the child’s age, parents should not put their children in a position of taking sides. The parents should get their own professional help to deal with the emotional roller coaster of divorce or lean on other friends or family members to air their grievances about their soon-to-be ex-spouse. Just do not ask the children to get involved, regardless of their age. You don’t want to be that family where your child is getting married, but one parent says, “If you invite the other parent, I won’t be there. I won’t come to your wedding.”
The Collaborative Divorce process is designed for the family to have a successful future.
You are still a family after the divorce, you have only gone through a restructuring of your family. You are still parents and your children are still yours together, you just have a different family dynamic than when you were married. The goal is to have a better future relationship with less conflict in the future. The divorced parents can get along well enough to dance together at their child’s wedding. The divorced parents can go to graduations and share in the joy of the event and not stare daggers at each other across the room. The Collaborative Divorce process and Collaborative Team will help the family work through the divorce process to end up in a better place as a family for the future.