How to Help Your College-age Child During Your Divorce

Divorce impacts all members of the family no matter their age. For college-age children who might be living away from home, the effects of their parents’ divorce might manifest in a variety of ways. However, you as a parent can help them deal with these effects so that they can continue with their personal growth and development.

The Effects of Divorce on College Students

It might be tempting to think that their parents’ divorce does not affect a college-age child as much as a younger child, partly because in many cases the college student lives away from home and has begun the process of becoming independent. However, even in college, children often still depend on their parents for emotional and financial support. When a divorce happens, the college student’s life can be thrown into disarray, and they might experience effects such as:

  • Academic struggles
  • Depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts
  • Rising self-doubt about their future and their goals

Ways to Support Your College Student Emotionally

During the divorce process, your college student will need emotional support from you and their other parent. It might be tempting to speak frankly to your child as a young adult, but your child should not be your confidante or sounding board for your divorce issues because the person you are in conflict with is their other parent.

Your child might also worry about your feelings and pretend that they are fine with the divorce decision even if they are struggling emotionally. You can provide support for your college-age child in multiple ways including:

  • Suggesting that they speak to a therapist on campus
  • Setting up sessions with a therapist for the whole family
  • Reassuring your child about your continued love and support
  • Avoiding venting to your child about their other parent
  • Letting your child know that you are always there to listen to their concerns even if you are struggling

Financial Concerns Can Also Affect Your College-age Child

Many college students still depend on their parents for financial support, which can include day-to-day expenses in addition to college tuition and school supplies. The announcement of your divorce might cause concern for your college student as to how they will continue to afford these expenditures, even if they understand how the divorce might affect the family’s finances in general. You might speak with your New Jersey family law attorney about the possible impact on your finances so that you can prepare for your conversation with your college student.

If your college student’s finances will be impacted by the divorce, you might want to start by having an honest conversation about what might change going forward. You might also help your child set up a meeting with the financial aid office at their school to speak about loans and other types of assistance that might be available to them to continue their college education.

Family Dynamics Play an Important Role

The way that your family works and the relationships among the members will also play a role in both the effects of your divorce on your college-age child and the way that you can support them. If you were already in conflict with your child, the divorce might cause additional stress to the relationship. However, whether your college-age student is living at home or not, you can help them go through this period without feeling alone.

Your college student might have questions about the divorce, and you might want to consult with your New Jersey family law attorney about your case and what information you should share with your child to help them process the divorce.

Choosing the Right New Jersey Family Law Attorney for Your Case

Each divorce case is unique; therefore, you will want to find a family law firm that is right for you. At Morgenstern & Rochester, we are committed to offering you personal attention with a hands-on approach to your divorce. Our attorneys are ready to accompany you from your first visit to your office for a consultation until your matters are resolved. You can call us today at 856-489-6200 to schedule a consultation at our Cherry Hill offices. You can also use our contact page to provide your information, and we will reach out to you.