Becoming an empty nester can be very difficult. You’ve spent the last two decades with your children, and now the last one has left the house. This is a very emotional time when you may feel like you’ve left a part of your life that you’ll never get back. People deal with this in different ways, but it can be very hard.
In some cases, this can even lead to divorce. The emotional toll may be such that the relationship between the two parents just doesn’t go back to what it was before. They may also react to becoming empty nesters in different ways, and this can fundamentally change them. The people that they become at this stage in their life may no longer be compatible.
Were you and your spouse focused on being parents?
Another potential issue is if you were very focused on being parents. Naturally, this is a wonderful focus for your children, but some parents tend to lose sight of their own relationships with their spouses. All of the work and stress of being a parent – along with the fun – makes it so they don’t even realize that they are no longer as close as they used to be.
But that all becomes more obvious when that last child leaves home. Suddenly the parents are forced to face their own relationship, and they may find that it is not what they expected.
If you do decide that it is time for you to get a divorce, you’re not going to have to figure out child custody issues, in most cases. But you may still have significant assets that have to get divided and you need to know what legal steps to take.