In the traditional system, the answer is, “Nobody”. Once children are 18, the law doesn’t want anything to do with them. But parents know that children are their children forever, and even as adults, they need to be considered too.

Parents of young children must grapple with where the kids live and how their expenses are covered.

Parents of adult children need to think more about staying in touch, grandchildren, business succession, estate planning, and often the ongoing roles of family members in businesses and trusts. There is no recognition of this in the legal system, and no support for ongoing adult family relationships. This is seen as a private concern, and traditional legal practice doesn’t encompass thinking and training about it.

Whole families and their business and financial interests need support during separation, which you need to find outside the court system.

Families often turn to mediators, financial advisors, and family therapists to navigate these complex issues, seeking a more holistic approach that the legal system doesn’t provide. By focusing on communication and collaboration, these professionals help families establish agreements that respect the emotional and financial ties binding them together.

In summary, while the traditional legal system may overlook the complexities of adult family dynamics, there are numerous resources available to support families in maintaining strong, healthy relationships through life’s various stages. By seeking out specialised collaborative professionals and fostering open communication, families can navigate these challenges with greater ease and harmony.

Please contact MELCA – for more information and to book a free 15-minute information session.

This excerpt is from ‘Breaking Up Without Breaking Down’ – Dr Tina Sinclair, Tricia Peters Marguerite Picard which can be purchased via Amazon –