Should You Wait Until Your Kids Leave the Nest to Get Divorced?

DiPietro Law Group, PLLC

When couples who should arguably split remain together far longer than advisable, they typically claim that they’re doing so for the sake of their kids. Some remain together until their children graduate from high school, only to separate once they’re empty nesters. But does this approach have any merit? Keep the following considerations in mind as you determine your timeline for divorce:

Why Wait?

Diane L. Danois, J.D. argues that no one timeline is proper for all divorcing couples. However, a few clear rationales may convince parents to remain married until their kids graduate from high school:

If you barely make ends meet as a couple, you’ll struggle that much more while maintaining separate households. Many couples who might otherwise be quick to part ways remain together purely so that they can keep a roof over their kids’ heads. Child support can sometimes ease this burden, however, and in many cases, a fresh start is more than worth the added expense.

The Struggles of Parenting Alone
Those who believe they’d ultimately have custody may delay divorce because they doubt their ability to handle child rearing on their own. This concern can be resolved through a joint custody resolution.

Easier on the Kids
Some parents feel that adult children can handle the pain of divorce far better, as they are physically removed from the situation.

When Waiting Doesn’t Work

Fighting Hurts Kids
Divorce may have a negative impact on children, but the same can be said of incessant fighting—the only cure for which, in many situations, is separation. Parents assume that holding off on divorce will protect their children. In reality, dissolution in and of itself has little bearing on whether kids grow up to be well-adjusted adults. The type of divorce matters more; if parents split amicably and continue to nurture family relationships, they can generally expect happy and healthy children.

Pain Doesn’t Disappear After High School
Divorce is always difficult for children, no matter their age. Psychology Today’s Wendy Paris claims that later-in-life divorces actually hurt more, as adult children may come to regard all they’ve learned about love and relationships as a lie.

Whether you intend to divorce promptly or take your time, it’s in your best interest to meet with a trusted Washington, D.C. family attorney. The team at DiPietro, PLLC can help you sort through timing issues and determine the best plan of action.


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