How To Tell Your Adult Children That You’re Divorcing

You and your spouse considered getting a divorce years ago. Because your children were so young, you agreed to wait until the children were grown. Though your children are now adults, telling them that you are getting a divorce may still be difficult. That’s why It’s very important that you and your spouse talk with them together. 

Approach the discussion with the same care and sensitivity that you would with young children. They may be adults, but learning about your divorce is still bound to be painful for your adult children.

Breaking the news

Do your best to respect your children’s feelings and answer their questions. While you hope that your children are understanding of the situation, no one wants to hear that their parents are divorcing. Your children may be upset or even angry. Be careful not to invalidate their feelings. Reassure them by telling them the following:

  • You will always love them. Now more than ever, they need that reassurance.
  • They are not to blame. Make sure that they understand that you and your spouse made this decision based solely on your relationship. There’s nothing that your children did to facilitate this divorce. At the same time, do not throw your spouse under the bus. You do not want your children to feel like they are stuck in the middle.
  • Allow them to ask questions and answer them honestly. They may ask about how upcoming events will be celebrated. For example: do you expect them to split up the holidays between the two of you? Take each question as they come and answer them with honesty.

No matter their ages, your adult children may feel like their world is falling apart. Give them the time they need to absorb this information and figure out how this new family dynamic will work.

When you are ready to file seek assistance to guide you through the divorce process.