Divorce Is Just As Hard When Your Children Are Adults
There is no age at which it is easiest for children to adjust to their parents’ divorce; every age comes with its own challenges. Divorced parents of babies are vulnerable to endless conflict over fussiness and diaper rash. If your children are old enough to attend school when you get divorced, then you get to battle over summer vacation and extracurricular activities, and your children can put into words how much stress the divorce is causing them. Parenting teenagers is never easy, but it is exponentially more difficult when you are recently divorced. For each of these stages, though, the law offers some guidelines on how to co-parent your children. Meanwhile, there are no official rules about co-parenting adult children, even though an increasing number of divorces take place among couples above the age of 50, and in many cases, their children have already reached adulthood. Your adult children can affect your divorce case, and your divorce certainly affects them. If you are going through a divorce after your children have grown up, a Boca Raton divorce lawyer can help make the process as painless as possible.
The Court Can’t Tell You How to Co-Parent Your Adult Children, So You’re on Your Own
Divorced parents of minors sometimes complain that the court micromanages their finances and their relationships with their families; the parenting plan dictates where your children spend each day of the Thanksgiving holiday break, and if you are your ex-spouse disagree about how much you should pay for your kids’ summer camp, the court casts the deciding vote. If your kids are grown up, however, the court gives you no guidance at all, but sometimes you wish it would.
Unless an adult son or daughter has a disability that prevents the young adult from being financially independent of his or her parents, the court assumes that any money the parents spend in support of the adult child is a discretionary expense. If you buy your 20-year-old son a car or pay for his college tuition, the court cannot require your ex to split the cost; the court also does not account for the money each parent spends on adult children in its decisions about equitable distribution or alimony.
The money isn’t even the hardest part to navigate. If your grown children spend every holiday with your ex-spouse and no holidays with you, the family court cannot change that. The court also cannot order you not to badmouth your ex in front of your adult children, but if you do it, it can still harm your relationship with your children. You have no one to rely on in this regard except your own good judgment, your friends, and your divorce lawyer.
Contact Schwartz | White About Co-Parenting After Your Children Have Grown Up
A South Florida family law attorney can help you with the financial and non-financial aspects of gray divorce. Contact Schwartz | White in Boca Raton, Florida about your case.