What is the impact on children of divorcing parents when the parents are older, and the kids are already adults themselves? Adult children of divorce often have emotional responses to their parents' splitting up even if they are already grown up. So-called "gray divorce" – the divorcing of older couples – is on the rise, and these older divorcing parents may not recognize that they still need to consider how they present their issues and their decisions to their teenage or adult children.
At Westfield Mediation, LLC, we tell our divorce mediation clients that the negative effects of divorce on children mostly come from living with conflict, and not from the divorce itself. So, in mediation, we guide them through a process designed to minimize the conflict between them. We focus on creating workable future plans for their family. We also explain that they should not be putting their children in the middle of their disagreements, and/or discussing the other parent with the kids. This same advice applies even if the children of the marriage are adults. Children of any age are uncomfortable taking on the issues that their parents have with one another.
As divorce mediators, we know that divorce can be an emotional process, and most people benefit from seeking counseling during this time. In our divorce mediation practice, we often advise our clients to seek therapy and not to look for emotional support from their children. Through divorce mediation, we help divorcing parents of any age address the issues that arise as they move forward in their lives.