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What About Us? Divorcing Couples Who Don’t Have Children – Part 1

What About Us? Divorcing Couples Who Don’t Have Children - Part 1 by Ada Hasloecher{3:12 minutes to read}  I recently received an email from a former client of mine who reached out to me asking the following question: “I was wondering if you could publish some articles about couples without children who would use mediation. I haven’t seen a lot of articles on mediation sites regarding couples without children who are looking to divorce. I have had several friends who don’t have children or have children that are grownups and no child support would be necessary should they divorce.

She’s right! Most articles about separation and divorce constellate around couples with children. But what about those couples who either don’t have children or whose children are emancipated (on the other side of 21)?

  • Are their issues the same as, different from, or close to their counterparts?
  • Is mediation the same for all, no matter what the circumstances?

Before I can answer those questions, it may be helpful to look at the various categories that these couples may fall into. The reason I do this is that each category has its own unique set of issues which, although there may be an overlap, do have distinguishing characteristics that must be addressed in order for the mediation to be successful.

Let’s start with the couples who do not have children together. The categories for those couples may be:

  1. Fairly newly married – perhaps under a year to 3 years;
  2. Married for 3–10 years;
  3. Married for 10+ years;
  4. Married with NO children together, but perhaps there are children from a former marriage and the other spouse is a step-parent.

Then there are the couples whose children are past the age of emancipation, BUT… these couples may fall into the following categories:

  1. Children who either are about to graduate from college (or are just on the other side of it), who may be coming back home to live until they get on their feet.
  2. Children who are extending the years it will take to graduate from college (not the typical 4 years, but perhaps 5–6 years to complete an undergraduate degree).
  3. Children who are older than 21 but younger than 30 and not quite financially independent.
  4. Children who are fully emancipated – the couple may even be grandparents.

In the next article, we’ll explore the issues for couples who have been 1) married for up to 3 years with no children and 2) married for up to 10 years with no children together, and discuss what makes their situations unique.

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Ada L. Hasloecher

Divorce Mediator / Center Founder
Divorce & Family Mediation Center, LLC
Phone: 631-585-5210
eMail: Info@DFMCLI.com
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