When older couples divorce, they generally need not worry about explaining divorce to young children, as their children are grown.
This does not mean the conversation will be painless. Divorce is hard for any family, but there are ways to make the conversation easier for everyone involved.
Tell them together
If possible, deliver the news with your spouse. Try to include all of your children rather than telling them separately. This allows them to support one another and ensures that everyone receives the same information.
Be honest but discreet
If they ask questions, answer them truthfully. They may already know more than you realize, especially if you spend a lot of time with them.
This does not mean you should reveal every detail. While you may be angry with your spouse, it is better to work through that anger with a therapist. Avoid making your children choose sides.
Avoid getting them involved
When you talk with your children, avoid fishing for information about your spouse. Be careful about asking them to keep secrets from their other parent, and never ask them to help you deceive your spouse. For example, do not ask them to help you hide assets.
Acknowledge their feelings and concerns
Even as adults, your children may feel grief or anger about your divorce.
Your children may worry about financial matters, such as college tuition or inheritance. They may grieve the loss of holiday traditions or the sale of their childhood home. Acknowledge their feelings and be open to conversations about how your divorce affects them.
Adult children may struggle with the news of your divorce just as young children would. By communicating honestly and respectfully, you and your spouse can maintain healthy relationships with your children.