The Passing of a Former Spouse

Divorces and separations are often difficult and emotionally damaging for families. Regardless of the circumstances, it is important to acknowledge and respect the time shared with the individual. In the event of a death of a former spouse, the individual previously married to him or her should be prepared to attend services, make a shiva call and comfort the family in an appropriate and thoughtful manner. A former spouse's behavior is even more important when children are involved. It is crucial that an appropriate and respectful example of honoring the decedent and comforting the family be set by the parent. Past issues, hard feelings or difficult times with the former spouse who has passed should not be discussed during the grieving period.

Many customs associated with Jewish mourning differ according to the grieving family’s spiritual traditions and beliefs. As a former member of the decedent's immediate family, a former spouse should be mindful of the traditions and practices that the family upholds.