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Divorce at Graduation?

By Leslie Fineberg on April 10, 2013

According to the University of Virginia’s Director of the Center for Children, Families, and the Law, Robert Emery, Ph.D., parents of young people who are nearing graduation should wait until a better time to tell them that they plan to divorce.  Announcing your plans to divorce in the months prior to your children’s high school graduation may not be healthy for them.

High school graduation is a time to celebrate your children’s accomplishments.  For young people, it is a thrilling rite of passage.  Your children have matured in a healthy environment, but making the choice to tell them of your plans to divorce is not the healthiest decision.  Dr. Emery advises couples to wait for graduation season to end before they announce their plans to separate or divorce.  Remember how excited you were when your senior prom season arrived followed shortly by graduation?  Don’t ruin that experience for your children by burdening them with your problems at this time.

Some parents have made the decision to remain together until their children graduate from high school.  If that choice has been made, then waiting a short while longer will not matter.  It would be best to tell them during the summer months to give them a while to get used to the idea before they leave home for the initial stress of their freshman year in college.

This situation is nothing new for couples, according to New Jersey psychotherapist Dr. Jay Granat.  Couples do it all the time.  They have an undisclosed plan between the two of them to stay together until their children finish high school and are ready to leave home.  Waiting to tell them until after graduation should be a part of the process.

The Chicago family law attorneys at Nottage and Ward know the emotional and financial considerations that accompany a divorce.  They also know that you want what’s best for your children.  We offer rational answers to complex situations.  We encourage you, if you are making plans to divorce, to call us at (312) 332-2915 to discuss what you can expect during the divorce process.

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