Children bring ample stress to otherwise happy marriages, but ultimately, they also draw spouses closer together. Many couples struggle to relate after their kids fly the coop and the day-to-day obligations of child rearing disappear. Those who understand the inevitable complications of life as an empty nester may be better equipped to embrace this opportunity. At minimum, expect the following changes:
Pre-Existing Problems Become More Obvious
Marital problems don’t emerge out of thin air. Many empty nesters face deep divides long before their kids graduate. However, the frantic pace of daily life with teenagers makes it easier to ignore current issues. Their departure shines a glaring light on marital problems, which can no longer be swept under the rug.
Disagreements About Financial Obligations
Some empty nesters enjoy greater spending money, while others struggle to pay college tuition for multiple students. Both situations can cause significant burdens. Parents may argue about supporting their grown children. Those who don’t need to pay for college may not agree on how to spend extra cash. From vacations to cars, spouses must determine a new spending plan that benefits both but also strengthens their nest egg.
Determining a New Living Situation
Kids take up space; a small house that seems perfect for newlyweds could be a nightmare for a large family. By the same token, the house that worked perfectly for your family may be little more than a hassle now that your kids have flown the coop. Many empty nesters disagree vehemently about the ideal living situation. Some prefer to stick to their current homes, as they contain happy memories. Others would rather downsize to a townhome or apartment. Still others move to warmer climates or explore the world via RV.
It’s not all doom and gloom for empty nesters. Arguments with or about kids gradually disappear. Grocery trips reduce in frequency, and the house actually stays clean. Spouses can embrace spontaneity, a long-forgotten concept that disappeared shortly after they tied the knot. Those who focus on the bright points of an empty nest can weather the transition with their marriage intact.
Divorce after kids have left can be surprisingly complicated. Let the experienced Maryland attorneys at DiPietro Law Group help you with the details so you can confidently move on with your life.