Adult children : the invisible victims of divorce?

This article caught my eye in The Student newspaper today: there’s a huge amount of literature available to parents and professionals alike about the impact on children of their parents’ divorce. Indeed, the divorce and children statutes enshrine the importance of focussing on if not prioritising the interests of the children. But only up to the age of 18 or completion of full-time education at A level stage. After that, theya re on their own. The court has no powers to make orders for them and if they are away at university or in paid employment, the court generally won’t factor into any financial settlement their monetary or housing needs. The perceived wisdom has often been that divorce is best left until the children are adults, and that by that stage, they won’t really be affected by parental separation. Emilia Hamilton’s article highlights the lack of research of the impact on young adults and the huge impact in can have while they are starting university or careers of their own.

When you’re a child of divorce, but you’ve already grown up, by Emilia Hamilton

When you’re a fully-grown adult who (mostly) does your own laundry, the old platitudes regarding your parents’ divorce –  'it’s not your fault”, 'your parents both love you very much” – can seem all the more hollow.  Unfortunately, with the number of divorces in the over-50 population having doubled since 1990, more and more young people are having to deal with the breakdown of their parent’s marriage whilst at university or at the start of their careers.