Dealing with your Child’s Divorce at the Holidays

by Norris Law Group on December 26, 2014

An article in the New York Times takes a look at divorce from an unusual perspective: that of the parents of a divorced or divorcing couple. Relationship between parents and adult children—especially children who are “Millennials”—can be very close. The number of parents who find may find themselves dealing with their own pain regarding their child’s divorce may increase as divorce rates continue to rise.

The lives of the parents of a divorcing child may also be thrown into upheaval, especially if children are involved. It is not uncommon for grandparents to find themselves in the middle of custody disputes, or even cut off from seeing their grandchildren entirely.

Parents of divorcing children may also choose to take on debt as a means of helping their grown children with the cost of the divorce or with daily expenses. As a result, some older couples put off plans to travel or even to retire. They may also find themselves taking in their divorced or divorcing children who move back home. Parents of adult children sometimes even choose to take on extra jobs or come out of retirement to help pay their children’s divorce bills, or even their own attorneys’ fees as they engage in court battles over the right to see their grandchildren.

The NY Times says that some therapists believe that parents of divorced children may feel especially guilty if they are divorced themselves, fearing that their “mistakes” have “rubbed off” on their children. Joshua Coleman, a San Francisco psychologist is quoted, “[Parents of divorced or divorcing children] may experience some feelings of culpability if they believe that their parenting didn’t adequately prepare their child for long-term relationships, or if they believe that their own marriage served as a poor role model.”

Parents of divorced or divorcing children should try to avoid taking sides or being critical of a child’s ex, even if the parents disagree with the ex-spouse’s behavior or their own child’s behavior. A better course of action may be to “tread lightly,” as divorces can become difficult or even volatile.

Attorney Graham Norris and his associates at the Norris Law Group serve the residents of Utah County, UT and throughout Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, and California. Contact them today at 801-932-1238 or online for a free consultation.

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