Separation and Divorce

Things You Can Do

Helping Your Child in a Difficult Time

  • Give your children extra affection. Cuddle and hug them often.
  • Make sure your children know the breakup is not their fault.
  • Don’t say bad things about your child’s other parent in front of your children.
  • Try to keep regular routines for each home.
  • Try to have consistent caregivers at child care or preschool.
  • Talk regularly with your child’s other parent about your child.
  • Try not to talk about parenting issues in front of your children.
  • Keep relatives involved and ask them not to take sides in front of the children. Visit
  • If you have an infant or toddler, find ways both parents can spend time with her. This helps her form close bonds with both parents.
  • For a coloring book to help children deal with divorce court, visit
  • If you’re stressed, ask for help. Call a friend or relative for support.

Does My Child Need Help?

Some children handle change well. For others, change is very hard. Infants may become fussy and young children may become grumpy, quiet or difficult. A toddler who is toilet trained may start having accidents. If these problems continue, talk to your doctor or a counselor.

Problems with Your Child’s Other Parent?

  • If you need help getting child support or the right to spend time with your child, call your District Attorney. Look for the number in the Government section in the front of your local phone book.
  • If you think that you or your child isn’t safe with your child’s other parent, get help. Call Child Protective Services (CPS): Child Abuse and Family Violence. Or call National Domestic Violence Hotline.
  • Your local Family Court Services provides help and mediation if you are separating or divorcing or having trouble with your child’s other parent. They can also help if you decide to file a restraining order. To find your Family Court Services, look under Court in the Government section in the front of your phone book. Or visit