How Tell Your Adult Children You're Divorcing


Telling your children you're filing for divorce in Pasadena presents unique challenges when the “kids” in question are all adults with families of their own.

If possible, try to make your announcement face to face with all of the children present. A group Skype call might be one option to consider if your adult children live in different cities or states. Siblings can provide an important source of support for adult children who want to talk about their feelings after you break the news. You also want to avoid the impression that you’re playing favorites by telling one child before another.

You might think that since your children are adults, it’s okay to share the more personal details of your split. However, your adult children don’t want to know about the precise reasons for your divorce, and sharing too many personal details can blur the parent/child relationship in ways you want to avoid. Save your complaints about your spouse for a discussion with your friends.

Unlike elementary school children or teenagers, adult children of divorce are likely to question the timing of your split. Even if it’s the truth, never tell your children that you stayed in an unhappy marriage for their sake. No child wants to feel as though they forced their parents to remain in an unhappy marriage. A simple “We’ve grown apart” or “We’re not happy together anymore” is sufficient.

If your divorce will have a direct impact on the children, make sure you address specific issues as soon as possible. Do not let your adult children think that you’ll continue to be able to pay for college, finance a fancy wedding, or provide free daycare for your grandchildren if that’s no longer going to be the case.

Finally, keep in mind that your adult children need time to grieve over the end of your marriage. Even though they no longer live at home, your decision to divorce will change their view of extended family gatherings for years to come. Be empathetic to their loss as you're working to move forward with the next phase of your own life.

How Can We Help?

Please call our office at (626) 683-8113 or email us at if you are in need of assistance with a divorce-related issue. Our Pasadena divorce law firm has extensive experience advocating for clients who are concerned about the division of marital property and/or spousal support issues.