Avoiding divorce as an empty-nester

When your kids are on the cusp of flying the nest for the first time, not only is it an exciting new chapter for them, it is also the start of a new stage in your lives too. Raising a family is an exciting, highly rewarding and huge part of your life. And for many, as this chapter of life draws to a close, many find themselves asking ‘what now?’

With an empty house and more free time on your hands than you’ve had in almost two decades, it can leave couples feeling a little lost. Some easily find a new lease of life and pick up old or new hobbies to fill their time. However, some slowly begin to realise there’s not much holding the relationship together anymore now that the children have grown. With the distractions of a full house and day to day chores now gone, some couples find they no longer connect in the same way they did back when they were newly weds.

How to avoid being another statistic

However, there are steps you can take to keep your marriage together and to avoid the fate of possible divorce, there are a few things you and your partner can do to try and reconnect and get closer to each other again.

Make time for each other/Reconnect

It is likely that you will have worked as a team for 18 + years raising your family together. Because of that, a large chunk of your relationship will have been focused on your children. But you now have a new opportunity and more time, so try taking up a new hobby together, or revisit things you used to enjoy doing together before you had children. This will give you something to do and talk about together that is separate to your children. It will also encourage you both out of the house and to have fun with one another. This should quickly build rapport between you both again and rekindle the affection you have for one another.

Foster a new routine

Your day to day activities are likely to change once your children have left home, whether this is to go to university, or moved out of the house to a home of their own. So take a look at your habitual routines as they are going to change. Create time in the week to go out to eat or cook at home together. Having this designated time together will help to strengthen your relationship and bring you closer again now that all the carpooling and rushing around has ceased.  

Keep communication open

You can end up spending so much of your time and energy on your children that over the years you can end up spending less time actually talking to each other. So it is important to continue talking to each other. By keeping your communication channels open, it will allow you to each express how you’re feeling and grow together rather than apart.

If you feel like your communication has suffered, then there are options such as couples therapy and mediation that may help you to reopen those channels again.

Divorce is an unpleasant time for all involved and something that we’d all like to avoid if at all possible.

After exploring every avenue

If after you’ve tried everything suggested above and you feel that there is no saving your relationship, and you wish to move forward with a divorce, then we can help. We have a specialist team of legal experts who are able to offer confidential and impartial legal advice.

How can I find out more information?

If you would like to find out more information, please contact us on 0800 614 722 to speak to one of our specialist legal professionals, or visit our local office.