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Grey divorces PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Suchitra Chakravarti Shekary   

Adult children of divorce (Acods) is a growing phenomena

As more and more couples decide to split up in later life, do we underestimate the effect on their grownup offspring? Adult children of divorce, or Acods as they are increasingly known, are a fast-growing phenomenon. These are children of silver splitters or couples who divorce after 20-25 years of marriage. These divorces were prompted by husbands taking up with other, often younger, women.

There are numerous celebrity children who have had their share of parents divorcing publicly. Fardeen Khan, Aamir Khan’s children Junaid and Ira, Farhan and Zoya Akhtar and Shruti Hasan. Socialite Ayesha Thapar has seen this trend of grey divorces increasing in the past few months. “Strangely enough, in the past week only, three people I know are contemplating divorce after 15 years of marriage. They were talking about the situation to their kids. It is definitely a growing phenomenon because people are less tolerant and don’t want to stay in a relationship because of the children.” Parents parting at any age is disheartening for children whether they are young or old feels Therapist Dr Sanjay Chugh.

“To see your family breaking down is never a pleasant experience. In fact, older children feel that the parents who are old will perhaps be a source of companionship for each other.” He cites an example of a client who was avoiding her recently divorced mother due to an unnecessary sense of responsibility/ guilt on her part. It was a breakdown of family structure she was accustomed to seeing every day of her life. “Children leave homes for academic, professional or personal reasons assuming that their parents have each other’s support and comfort.

However, to find parents at that age hav-ing conflicts and contemplating a divorce could be stressful for them. Grown up children may be faced with anxieties related to their parents living alone, having to take care of themselves and their physical, emotional needs single handedly.

These can certainly be disturbing for children.” Payal M., a Bombay based assistant director, was 24 when her parents divorced. She has seen her father with a younger woman and the trauma her mother went through. “I was a wreck and went haywire. I married a junior artiste who abused me. I went on for five years like this till mum settled into her single life. I am now divorced and seeing someone really nice.” Says divorce lawyer Brindha Nandakumar, “Every case is different. It depends on the level of harassment and how strained a relationship can be. Generally a divorce has a traumatic effect on the children, whatever the age.” She tells us of her celebrity client who pressurised her mother to divorce her alcoholic husband.

“Children are a major factorfor the judges. But they are better off if the fighting parents get the divorce instead of living in a troubled atmosphere."


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