Divorce usually means an enormous life change, but it can also be prompted by another one, the empty nest. After years of being primarily focused on raising children, some Michigan parents can find that they have little in common once the kids are out of the house.
Planning for the empty nest
Ideally, couples can anticipate the shift brought about by the empty nest a couple of years ahead of time and start taking steps to reconnect and discuss their shared future. However, even this might simply point to deficiencies in the relationship. At this point, there are things couples should take into account if they are considering divorce.
Effects on children
Even if their children are college age or older, divorce is still going to have an impact on them. This on its own is not a reason to remain in an unhappy marriage, but it is something parents in an empty nest situation should keep in mind. In addition, they may need to think about things such as where their college-aged children will go on breaks from school.
Effects on finances
Parents also need to consider how divorcing will affect their current lifestyle and their retirement plans. Furthermore, although their children may have moved out, they may still be getting financial support, particularly if they are still students. Their own parents might need financial help as well. Splitting up can mean tighter finances, and for older adults, there are fewer years ahead in the workforce to make up for any losses.
Some couples may decide that a different structure for their relationship is the right approach, such as living separately without divorcing. However, even for people who decide divorce is the best option, it is possible to move forward with respect and consideration for how it will affect everyone in the family.