It is a fact of life that children will eventually move on and leave the house when they reach a certain age. For many families, this occurs when kids head off to college, while for others, children may remain living at home for longer. Regardless of when the kids leave, it is not uncommon for parents to feel a sense of loss and uncertainty when their children move out.
For many couples with children, their kids can become their whole life. Mornings may involve serving breakfast and packing lunches before kids head off to school, weeknights may be focused on helping with homework, and weekends can be all about sports tournaments and other activities. However, what may seem like chores and responsibilities can be sorely missed when they disappear from your everyday schedule. When these tasks vanish, and you and your spouse have more time alone with each other, it can be beneficial for your relationship, or it may expose unresolved conflicts and difficulties, which might result in a divorce.
When Is Divorce Necessary After Children Leave the Nest?
It is common for couples to experience a strong sense of loss when their children move out. For some parents, “empty nest syndrome” can make them realize that the only thing keeping their marriage together was their kids. If you are wondering whether divorce might be your best option after your children have left home, you may want to consider the following:
- Understand Your Roles and Goals: If you have been a parent for 18+ years, this may seem like your primary identity, and you may feel lost when your children move out. By writing out your various roles in your life, you may then recognize what is important to you, as a daughter/son, professional employee, sports team member, pet owner, etc. This can also help you set goals for your life going forward, and it can help you determine whether you want to work on your relationship, or whether you may want to consider beginning the next stage of your life on your own.
- Expand Your Interests: Your children leaving home can be good motivation for exploring new interests and expanding your self-identity. Since you will likely have extra time on your hands with the children gone, you can pursue new hobbies, travel plans, or other activities that you have been thinking about. If you find that your spouse is not interested in these types of pursuits, or does not want to join you as you explore new opportunities, you may feel that a separation can help you make the most of this new stage of your life.
- Seek Support: While self-care may be appropriate for some who are experiencing “empty nest syndrome,” other parents may struggle with more serious emotional difficulties, and they may need to seek professional help from a therapist or psychiatrist. Doing so may help you get through the initial shock of your newly empty nest, and it can also help you determine whether you want to attempt to repair any relationship issues you are experiencing, or whether you should consider divorce.
Call an Oak Park Divorce Lawyer
Unfortunately, “empty nest syndrome” can sometimes be the final straw causing the breakup of your marriage. While the empty nest feelings themselves may not be the cause of a divorce, children leaving home can often highlight issues that already exist in your relationship. At the Law Office of Vincent C. Machroli, P.C., we can help you understand your legal options if you are considering ending your marriage. Whether your divorce is contentious or mutually agreed upon, we are here to assist you through the legal process. Contact our Hillside divorce attorney who has been handling divorces since 1988 at 708-449-7404 and schedule your free consultation.