Are you an "ACOD"? Life as an Adult Child of Divorce can be tragic but also "fluid, bizarre and at times, flat-out funny," according to Stu Zicherman, the director and co-writer of "A.C.O.D.," a new divorce comedy starring Adam Scott, James Lynch, and Amy Poehler.
The movie, which was filmed in Atlanta, takes a lighthearted approach in its examination of how divorce affects adult children. But from a legal perspective, the consequences can be anything but a laughing matter.
Here are a few legal issues adult children of divorce regularly face and what they can do about them:
- Parental finance issues. Parents often cover the staggering legal costs of their divorce and child custody cases by dipping into their child's college fund. Years later, adult children often discover their college funds ravaged. Adult children are also often "short-changed" when one parent stops paying child support.
- Personal finance issues. Many ACODs experience a failure to launch and experience difficulties with completing their education, obtaining "grown-up" jobs, or building savings, reports Reuters.
- Elder care issues. Adult children often must assume emotional and financial responsibility for their single aging parents who won't take care of each other. They also frequently feel financially responsible for their parents at an early age, according to Reuters.
- Emotional issues. When divorcing parents fail to ease the strain of divorce on children, ACODs can develop a host of emotional problems such as bouts of anger, low self-esteem, anxiety, and commitment issues in personal relationships.
Solutions for ACODs
With the potential loss of parental support and the family inheritance, ACODs should be their own financial advocates by doing the following:
- Don't neglect your own finances because you're worrying about the 'rents.
- Encourage a financial planning component to divorce talks, such as setting up a trust, dividing property and assets, and divvying up retirement funds.
- Research long-term care insurance and focus your immediate efforts on the needier parent who has the lower earning potential.
Remember, as many as one in four divorces now occur between partners who have been married for 20 years or more -- like Danny Devito and Rhea Perlman, reports Reuters.
ACODs have it tough. If you can't laugh it off from a self-reflective comedy, maybe hashing out your options with an Atlanta family law attorney will help.
- The Way They Were (AARP Magazine)
- 'Roots' Star Ben Vereen Divorcing Wife of 36 Years (FindLaw's Atlanta Family News Blog)
- Is Legal Separation a Good Alternative to Divorce? (FindLaw's Atlanta Family News Blog)
- Mediation May Be a 'Friendlier' Option for Your Divorce (FindLaw's Atlanta Family News Blog)