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Why adult children often welcome their parents’ ‘gray divorce’

On Behalf of | Jan 12, 2023 | Divorce

It’s an old cliché, but a lot of unhappily married couples in Norfolk County stay together for the kids. They believe it is better for the children that their parents stay together, no matter how miserable the two of them are.

This excuse is even used by people whose children grew up and left home years ago. The idea is that a ‘gray divorce’ would still traumatize the couple’s adult children so badly that it is “better” to stay in a broken marriage until one spouse dies. But it’s not always true that adult children will suffer emotionally if their parents get divorced. Depending on the circumstances, they might even welcome a divorce.

Surviving, not thriving, in an unhappy marriage

Most adult children of troubled marriages can remember the bad times growing up. No matter how much their parents tried to keep their problems hidden, kids usually notice them — especially if domestic violence or emotional abuse is involved. They might not have the illusion of a happy household untainted by divorce that one or both of their parents tried to create. Thus, news that their parents are divorcing in their 50s or 60s might be a cause of relief, not grief or anger.

Your needs matter

Ultimately, whether you get divorced later in life is up to you and your spouse, not your children. If you or your spouse files for divorce after 50, things like child custody and child support probably won’t be issues. But with retirement possibly just a few years away, matters like property division and spousal support can take on even more meaning. The help of a divorce attorney experienced with complex asset division and the special concerns typical of gray divorce can make all the difference.

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