Family Law Blog

Adult Children Can Find It Difficult to Cope with Parental Divorce

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Parental divorce is a traumatic and stressful time for children. Studies show that divorce can have an impact on children, when parents separate during childhood. But what happens when adult children have to deal with parents going through a divorce? Such situations are actually becoming increasingly common because of the increase in senior divorce.

According to statistics, the number of gray divorces or senior divorces has actually doubled since 1990. Older couples getting divorces now constitute approximately 25% of all divorces in the United States.

Increasing senior divorce rates mean that many adult parents have to deal with the fact that their parents, who have been married for many decades, are now making the decision to separate. Obviously, the trauma and stress involved when you're an adult watching your parents separate is very different from the experiences of a child. The concerns that you have as an adult when your parents divorce, are unique.

However, divorce lawyers in Los Angeles do see that when adult children watch their parents get divorced, there can be a much longer- lasting and deep impact, because adult children may have many more memories of their family, than younger children. Adults may find the prospect of meeting the mother’s or father’s new romantic partner even more stressful and painful.

Additionally, adult children may be placed in the uncomfortable position of having to become referees when their divorced parents argue with each other at family events and celebrations. The focus at these events may shift from celebrating to keeping the parents away from each other. Some studies indicate that adult women seem to take a much longer time to get over the emotional trauma of a parental divorce, compared to adult males.