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Children Of Grey Divorce: Impact On Parental Relationships

Children of Grey Divorce: Impact on Parental Relationships

We have all heard the statistic that approximately 50% of marriages in Canada end in divorce. Recently, family law lawyers across Canada have noticed a new trend that has been dubbed “Grey Divorce”.

Grey divorce refers to couples who opt to divorce after decade-long marriages. When marriages end later, many unique factors must be considered, such as dividing assets that have been in the family for years, how to divide a pension and live off saved income or a single income, companionship in later years and breaking the news to your adult-children.

This article will dive into Grey Divorce and its impact on parents’ relationships with their children.

The Increasing Rate of Grey Divorce

The trend of Grey divorce, involving couples parting ways after long-term marriages, is increasingly noted by family law lawyers in Canada. This trend presents distinct challenges, including the division of long-standing assets, pension considerations, and the emotional dynamics related to companionship in later life. Key factors contributing to the rise of Grey divorce include:

  • Diminishing Stigma – The softening of the stigma surrounding divorce, especially among older generations, has contributed to more couples over 50 considering this option. Previously, societal norms may have dissuaded older couples from pursuing a divorce.
  • Longer Life Expectancy – With life expectancies increasing, individuals in their 50s and beyond are reevaluating the prospect of spending several more decades in an unhappy marriage. The desire for a more fulfilling life in the remaining years is a driving factor.
  • Age of Children – Couples with adult children may feel less obliged to stay together for the sake of the children. However, it’s important to note that Grey Divorce still significantly impacts adult children.

Comparing Adult Children of Divorce to Younger Children of Divorce

Finding out your parents are getting divorced is a hard pill to swallow at any age. Most often, when we think about children of divorce, we tend to think of younger children who do not have much of a voice when it comes to complex matters and are more like pawns being shuffled through this life-changing event.

However, with couples divorcing later in life, a new perspective is necessary to include this older demographic of children. In fact, some studies point to adult children of divorce having an extremely difficult time adjusting to the news of their parent’s split and having lasting psychological impacts.

Impact of Divorce on Adult Children

It’s no real surprise that since adult children of divorce are capable of comprehending divorce much better than younger children, they experience much more emotion during the breakdown of the marriage. Children whose parents divorce later in life are said to feel extreme guilt as a result of understanding that their parents likely stayed together for them and were unhappy in their marriage for a long time before the divorce.

They may also question their childhood memories and ask themselves, “If my parent’s love was a lie, what else did I miss growing up?” Finally, adult children of divorce have reported that their parents confide in them and lean on them much more than they would have expected if they were younger.

Thus, because the children are older, the divorcing parents may feel as though they do not need to protect them as much from the reality of the situation.

How To Help Adult Children Of Divorce

If you are considering a Grey Divorce, it’s very important to educate yourself on the impact this will have on your children before breaking the news to them. As with divorce at any age, there is both a positive and negative way to handle the changing family dynamic caused by divorce. It’s important at any age for children to be told that they are loved and that the separation is between their parents and in no way their fault.

Also, the children will want to know your logistical plans, such as where you will be living, whether you are amicable enough to spend time together for major events such as graduations, weddings and births of grandchildren, and if anyone else is in the picture. It’s important to be as straightforward as possible with the facts and keep the emotional burden to a minimum.

How Jones Divorce & Family Law Can Help

If you are navigating the complexities of a Grey Divorce, it is crucial to seek professional guidance. Our team of experienced family law lawyers at Jones Divorce & Family Law specializes in such cases.

By partnering with one of our trusted lawyers when going through a Grey Divorce in Calgary, you can gain peace of mind, knowing that you have a dedicated professional by your side, working tirelessly to achieve the best possible outcome for your family.

Book a consultation with us, and let us help you through this significant life transition with expertise and compassion.

The content provided in the blog posts of Jones Divorce & Family Law is general information and should not be considered legal advice. Please contact a lawyer for legal advice tailored to your specific situation. All articles are current as of their original publication date.