Parents generally want to do the right thing for their children. That can include not divorcing despite not wanting to be married anymore.
Some parents believe that it is better to wait until their children reach the age of 18 to divorce. This would give them a more stable home environment and potentially minimize the stress of working out a custody plan.
Before you decide to wait to divorce, it’s a good idea to look at the actual psychology that could impact a case like yours.
Is it appropriate to wait until your children are adults to divorce?
The truth is that how well your children handle divorce comes down to how you deal with it. If you can go through a collaborative divorce that has both you and your spouse working together toward a positive outcome, then your children will likely be just fine regardless of their age. However, if you decide to stay together and are in a contentious relationship where arguments and fighting are common, your children are going to suffer.
When you try to decide if it’s appropriate to divorce, you have to look at the whole situation. Staying together alone is not enough to provide your children with stability or the love and affection that they need. In some cases, divorcing is actually more appropriate, because it sets up a situation where both parents are happier and can provide better attention to their children.
To decide if it’s appropriate for you to divorce now or after your children turn 18, you should look at a few different aspects of your marriage. Are you fighting regularly, or are you living a comfortable lifestyle that is just not quite what you want? Are you and your spouse committed to caring for your children in a positive way regardless of whether you separate or stay together? If separating would cause more contention and more fighting, it may be appropriate to wait.
Similarly, if your children are in their late teens now, waiting a year or two to divorce may not make much of a difference and could save you a lot of hassle as you avoid having to set up a custody plan.
What you decide to do will depend on your specific circumstances, but your attorney will be able to help you. Whether you decide to divorce now or to wait a while until your children are older, remember that how you handle your divorce has the biggest effect on them.