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Checklist For Divorcing Parents

1.  Tell your children what is going to happen: where everyone will live, where they will go to school, how they will be cared for.

2.  Assure them that they will have access to and time with each parent.

3.  Tell them that the purpose of the divorce is to try to make things better.

4.  Tell them, in general but clear terms, why the divorce is happening, without hurling accusations at anyone.  Tell them it is not their fault.

5.  Let them know of your sadness and regret at the breakup of the family.

6.  Tell them that it is all right to love the other parent.

7.  Stop fighting.  If you can do nothing else for your children in the midst of your divorce, at least do this. A fight requires at least two people; you can stop a fight all by yourself.

8.  Just as you may need to seek help for yourself, seeking help for your children is also appropriate.  It is usually important to let their teachers know they are going through a stressful time; teachers can be of great help to your children and to you.

If you’d like some referrals for therapists who work with children and families, email

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