When the children of divorced parents become adults, they no longer have to live with the custody and visitation schedules set up in the divorce agreement. They are generally free to choose with whom to spend time, for how long and how often. However, your job as co-parents continues. How you handle it now that your kids are grown could well impact just how much you see your kids and what kind of relationship you have with them.
It’s easy to feel jealousy and even anger if you’re not seeing as much of your kids as you’d like. However, it’s important to remember that all kids grow away from their parents as they grow up. It may not be that they’re choosing their other parent over you.
It’s important, however, to take a look at your own behavior. Just because your kids are older, that doesn’t mean that they’re ready to hear about all of your ex-spouse’s faults. You should continue to refrain from denigrating their other parent or asking your kids to take sides. Remember that they aren’t your therapist, best friend or attorney. Don’t burden them with your issues with your ex.
While you no longer have to worry about seeing your ex at your kids’ soccer games or back-to-school nights, there will be lots of other occasions when you’ll be thrown together with your former spouse and likely his or her new spouse or significant other.
If you want to be invited to weddings, birthday parties, graduations and your grandchildren’s events, keep whatever negative feelings you’re still harboring to yourself. Your kids should be able to have both parents on hand for the special moments in their lives without fearing that a fight will break out or that the frostiness of your relationship will put an icy cloud over the festivities.
Your financial connection to your ex isn’t necessarily over once your children are grown either. You may still be getting spousal support, splitting college loan payments or sharing wedding expenses. These are issues that you and your ex need to handle without getting your children involved. Your Rhode Island family law attorney may be able to provide assistance.
Source: Our Family Wizard, “Divorce and Adult Children: Does Co-Parenting Ever End?,” accessed Aug. 29, 2017