When a marriage has ended in divorce, the graduation of a child marks even more of a major milestone for the family than it normally would. Not only is the child moving into adulthood and away from his or her parents, but child support payments are no longer required. Further, since that child will likely be going off to college, there will be less opportunity for the non-custodial parent to get together with them. However, while graduation may signal a change in the life of a divorced parent, it does not mean the end of an association with the child – or with the ex.
As children move into adulthood, they may stay more connected to one parent than another. The older the children get, the less necessary it will be for you to interact with your ex-spouse. Yet, the responsibility to co-parent still exists even in the early years of adulthood. Some parents want to make a decision together about how to support their child through college. For example, will support include tuition, books, room and board? It will also give the child an opportunity to make more of decisions for their lives and how they want their relationship to be with their parents since a child custody order is no longer in place.
Your kids will hopefully want you to be a part of their special occasions, including such times as weddings, baptisms and birthday parties. Hopefully, the divorce will be far enough behind you by this point that you may feel comfortable attending these functions with your ex-spouse present and be able to be pleasant to each other for the sake of the kids and the grandkids. Both of you are important to your children, don’t make them choose between you.
So, while your child is excited to graduate and move into a new chapter, it doesn’t always mean the chapter of your divorce is completely closed; at least not if you both want to be present in the life of your child.