Info for Kids

Kids, are your parents getting divorced or separating?

You are not alone. Every year in Iowa, around 3,500 kids’ parents get divorced.

Here are some things you should know about divorce:

  • It is not your fault. Divorce is never a child’s fault. Your parents may have fought a lot. They may even have disagreed about the best way to raise you. You did not cause these arguments. Divorce happens because adults cannot work out some of their problems.
  • Divorce is a big loss. It is okay to feel angry, sad, guilty, frustrated, or disappointed. There are good and bad ways to express your feelings. If you would like some ideas about positive ways to express your feelings, talk to your school counselor or a therapist.
  • Some kids want to know “the truth” about why their parents divorced. There are probably many reasons your parents divorced. They might give you different reasons why they got divorced because each may have their own reasons. It does not mean they are lying. Some parents may only know they are unhappy and may not really understand why they want a divorce.
  • You will get to spend time with both of your parents. Your parents will find a schedule they think is best for you. If they cannot agree, they will ask a judge to make a schedule for them. Some kids live with one parent half the time and the other parent half the time. Some kids spend most of their time with one parent.
  • Hopefully, your parents will not argue as much once they are divorced. If your mom and dad say bad things in front of you about each other, you can tell them to stop. You should not have to hear your parents argue. You might want to draw a picture or write a poem about how you feel when they fight and show it to them.
  • You will not have to choose where you want to live. You do not have to talk to the judge if you do not want to. You will not be in the courtroom with your parents.
  • You don’t have to take sides with your parents. You can still get along with both of them, even if they don’t get along with each other. You can tell them, “I love you both.”
  • Kids do not decide which parent they will live with. You only get to decide where you want to live once you are 18. But your wishes do matter and the judge should consider what you want in making a decision about where you will live. If you have strong feelings about where you want to live, you should ask your parents if you can have your own lawyer.
  • Divorce takes a long time. The divorce might take more than a year! Your parents might have to go to court to talk to the judge several times before everything is decided.
  • Things will get easier as you get used to these family changes. Make sure you talk to your parents and other adults you trust about your feelings.

Kids First Law Center

420 6th St. SE Ste. 160

Cedar Rapids, IA 52401

(319) 365-5437


Mar 13, 2024, 9:24 AM
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