The impact of a later-in-life divorce on adult children

On Behalf of | Dec 1, 2021 | Divorce

A divorce between middle-aged or older spouses (sometimes called a “gray divorce”) often marks the abrupt end to a decades-long marriage. A later-in-life divorce in Colorado can become more complicated than the couple predicts, and may impact adult children in surprising ways.

Separation leads to isolation

When older parents divorce, the adult children often feel more isolated and may suffer from symptoms of depression, anxiety and other psychological and emotional conditions. They may believe that the family has fallen apart, so they feel less interested in trying to bring the members together for reunions and special events.

With careful planning and open communication, divorcing parents can pursue their own objectives in divorce while limiting the emotional turmoil that divorce can spread throughout the family.

Choosing sides

During a divorce, children may decide to take sides. Choosing sides is normal when there is a division of opinions within a family, but it may cause additional harm to the collective family unit when parents are divorcing.

Estate planning complications

As older people retire, a long and complicated divorce could make it more difficult to plan their estate. The divorcing couple may argue over property division, alimony or other legal issues that need to be settled before wills, trusts and other estate planning documents are put in place. Parents may decide to revise their estate plans and reallocate the assets that they originally planned to leave to their spouse.

Meeting the challenges of divorce

A couple can divorce at any age and stage in life. Later-in-life divorce has significant effects on older children, even if they are adults and they have moved out of the family home. There are a number of new emotional, social and legal challenges that they will face in this situation, so parents must be prepared to meet these challenges as well as the challenges inherent in any divorce.