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Young and Divorced: A Few Special Considerations

In the huge arena of divorced people, one particular group doesn't seem much differentiated from another. That is, whether you were married three years or 20; whether you had or did not have kids; whether you lived in the north or the south; whether you were a teacher, a plumber, a singer or whatever - you're divorced. So are, literally, many millions of other people.

One writer argues, though, that there is one divorce group that does merit singling out, if at least momentarily and for a bit of, well, if not sympathy, at least passing empathy.

That is the 20-somethings. When they divorce and, especially when they have kids, they are sometimes just a bit more dislocated and out of sorts than were many other people who got divorced later.

As to why that might be, there actually are a few reasons specific to the group. A newly divorced person in the 20s with kids is truly parenting young children. She (sometimes "he," too, but usually she) doesn't get much emotional support, given that many of her peers are single, dating and not thinking about matters such as child support. In addition to this social isolation, she is often under undue financial pressure, given that she hasn't been long in the work world, perhaps has never even entered the work world, and/or doesn't yet have the schooling or training required to get a job. There is certainly stress in that situation.

Also, people will talk, at least some of them, and many will freely offer their opinions and advice. What did she do to bring on divorce? Why is she already dating? Why isn't she? The getting-back-into-the-swing-of-it aspect can be awkward and even acutely painful for many young divorced people.

Still, the young are resilient, because they are young. People divorce for a reason, whatever their age group, and their decision to do so is usually validated looking back. In America, people invariably learn from their divorces and move forward, most often to something better.

Related Resource: www.huffingtonpost.com "Twenty Something and Divorced" December 3, 2010

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