How to Soften the Blow of Divorce on Adult Children

Tips for preserving the family despite the breakup

With the increase in “gray divorces,” more studies are considering the impact on children over 18. Support groups and media even have an acronym for adult children of divorce (ACOD), and a recent movie with this acronym as its title — a comedy, no less — addresses the topic.

Galena Rhoades, a research professor at the University of Denver, has examined some of the work by social scientists and found that gray divorce can be confusing for young adults, especially if parents had not been combative. “Often divorces among older people are not about conflict but more about disconnection,” she says. “The couple doesn’t have anything in common anymore.”

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