It is common for people to start thinking about divorce months or even multiple years before they decide to file the official paperwork. Financial issues, personal health and family circumstances may all lead to people trying to stay in unhappy marriages for years.
Sharing children is one of the most common reasons that those who want a divorce indefinitely delay finally the actual paperwork. They hope to wait until their children have finished high school and moved out of the family home the file for divorce. The idea is that divorcing once the children are technically adults will minimize the harm the divorce causes.
However, divorcing when your children are in college creates its own unique concerns. You need to consider and address the two possibilities below if you intend to divorce when your children are in college or almost done with high school.
Young adults are often still financially dependent
Especially if some of the children in your family pursue higher education, they may continue to rely on parents for everything from their clothing to their car insurance for many more years. Although Minnesota technically does not require that parents pay for college or continue supporting young adults once they are over 18 and out of high school, most parents will try to help their children to the best of their abilities.
If you divorce when your children are technically already adults, there is no guarantee that the other parent will continue contributing toward their lives financially. The courts won’t typically order support, which means you need to settle outside of court if you want to arrange to share college costs.
They may have intense emotional reactions
Although your adult children are theoretically mature enough to understand that marriages fail, they are also old enough to understand why divorce happens and to figure out that you waited until they graduated high school to file.
Parents who divorce when their children are in college or the out of the house often experience intense emotional blowback from their adult children who may pick sides or completely cut ties with the family for several years because of how upset they become.
Just because the children no longer live at home with you or are old enough to theoretically have their own family does not need they feel the devastation of divorce any less intensely. Recognizing the challenges that come with divorcing with older children in college can help you prepare yourself and your family for your upcoming divorce proceedings.