divorce360.com provides help, advice and community for people
contemplating, going through or recovering from divorce and the issues around it,
including separation, divorce laws, spousal support and emotional issues.

after-divorce  :: parenting

Should I Go to Funeral for Ex?

Should I Go to Funeral for Ex?

Do I Go? Do I Bring The Kids?


Q: I have been divorced from my husband for nearly 10 years. He is very ill and is not expected to live much longer. We have had a distant but amicable relationship for most of the last 10 years. Would it be appropriate for me to attend his funeral?  

There are no clear rules of etiquette regarding attending the funeral of an ex-spouse. But there are some issues you might consider in making your decision:

1. If you had children together, how do your children feel about your attending their father’s funeral?
Your presence may be an important source of support for your children.

2. Have you maintained relationships with your ex-husband’s family and friends?
If so, and if those relationships have been cordial, your presence will likely be welcomed.  If not, your attendance at your ex-husband’s funeral may create an awkward social situation.

3. Does your ex-husband have a new wife or partner? If so, is your relationship with her amicable?
Out of respect and consideration for her, you might consider phoning her after your ex-husband’s death to offer your condolences, and tell her you would like to pay your respects at his funeral and ask if that would be OK with her. If you have young children and want to accompany them to the funeral for support, politely tell her that it is important for your children that you be with them at the funeral.            

The bottom line is that if you feel that your attendance at the funeral would be respectful and supportive and that you would be welcome by family and friends, there is no reason for you not to go. If you have children that need you to be with them at the funeral, you have a compelling reason to attend your ex’s funeral, regardless of how others feel. If your presence is not needed by your children (or if you did not have children with your ex-husband), and/or your attendance would create tension or conflict, you might consider just sending flowers and a sympathy card to the family.   

Caroline Schacht has a master’s degree in home economics and another in sociology. She has been trained as a divorce mediator and a teacher at East Carolina University, specializing in courtship and marriage classes. She is the co-author of several textbooks, including "Choices in Relationships and Understanding Social Problems." She can be reached a cschacht@suddenlink.net.

divorce New this week::

Transition Institute: Telling Your Spouse You want to Split - Mental Health: The Dos, Don'ts of Telling Your Spouse You Want a Divorce


Your Kid Wants To Live With Ex - Tips On How To Cope If Your Child Wants To Change Homes


Living with a Habitual Liar? - Relationships: Four Ways You Can Tell if Your Spouse is Telling You a Whopper


divorce Community::
popular blogs
get/give answers
expert Q&As
Faith Therapy : Does a Separation Work?
My Husband and I Are Having Trouble. Is It a Good Idea for Us to Separate?...read more 

Stress Relief: Tips to Help after Separation
Mental Health: Overwhelmed by Changes in Household Routine. What Should I do?...read more 

About Law: Do Divorce Kits Work?
Legal: What You Should Consider When You Think About Divorcing Using a Kit...read more 

expand information center
divorce360.com's ecards

Find divorce professionals in your area

Find lawyers
Find financial professionals
Find coaches
divorce focused content ::
divorce most popular ::
1. They Won't Leave? Now What?
You Want a Divorce, but Your Spouse Won’t Leave. Here’s How to Get 'em out

2. Eager To Check Those Texts?
Think your Spouse is Cheating? Professionals Can Check Text Messages

3. Are You Reading Your Spouses Text Messages?
Stop! It May Be Illegal & May Hurt Your Case

4. 8 Things No One Ever Tells You about Divorce
Number Three May Surprise You

5. Beginning Checklist: Planning to File for Divorce
12 Steps to Consider if You or Your Partner Have Decided to File for Divorce