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Singapore Government

Divorce Support

Children’s Common Reactions to Divorce

This website will no longer be available from 30 June 2022. Please visit the Family Assist portal at for information, services, and support to make informed decisions about your marriage or to register for the Mandatory Parenting Programme.

Children's Common Reactions to Divorce

Divorce can be a difficult process for all those involved and affects children in various ways. The Mandatory Parenting Programme (MPP) aims to address these concerns even before a divorce is filed at the courts.

The impact of the divorce in your family can bring about a range of emotions, depending on your children’s age and the circumstances surrounding the divorce. 

Some reactions your children may have are:

  • Anger and resentment towards you and/or the other parent
  • Sadness and grief
  • Denial of the divorce
  • The feeling of being caught in the middle (divided loyalties)
  • Withdrawal
  • Low self-esteem 

How You Can Help Your Children Cope 

  1. As parents, agree on a sustainable parenting plan that allows your children to have a routine with minimal disruptions.
  2. Learn new skills to help you adjust your new role as a single parent. Different parenting plans might help.
  3. Communicate regularly with your children and let them know that you still love and care for them deeply. 
  4. Minimise changes to the environment so that your children do not have to undergo too many changes at the same time. 
  5. Keep your children out of conflicts between you and your ex-spouse (e.g. matters pertaining to divorce maintenance, child custody and access issues and etc.).
  6. Encourage your children to ask for help if they need it, either from yourself or an adult whom they trust.