Movies to Help Kids Understand Divorce

Divorce is a fact of life for many families. Kids often aren't sure what to expect with this major life change, and they may have questions and concerns. These movies provide different takes on divorce: Some are serious, some are silly, some are kid friendly, while others are best for teens. And some of them provide an unrealistic notion about reconciliation. But all of them can help open up a conversation on this tough topic, especially if you use the conversation starters we offer in each review. For more movies about big issues, check out these lists: Coming-of-Age Movies, Movies That Defy Gender Stereotypes, and Political Movies.

The Parent Trap (1961) Poster Image
MOVIE

The Parent Trap (1961)

age 6+

Charming classic has some dated gender roles.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 1961)
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The Parent Trap Poster Image
MOVIE

The Parent Trap

age 6+

Delightful remake is great for the whole family.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 1999)
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Night at the Museum Poster Image
MOVIE

Night at the Museum

age 7+

Cute adventure; OK for tweens, but a little scary for kids.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2006)
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Wilderness Love Poster Image
MOVIE

Wilderness Love

age 11+

Funny romcom about divorce has mature themes.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2013)
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Mrs. Doubtfire Poster Image
MOVIE

Mrs. Doubtfire

age 12+

You'll laugh, you'll cry. Best divorce movie.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 1993)
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Now and Then Poster Image
MOVIE

Now and Then

age 12+

'90s coming-of-age movie has some sex, profanity.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 1995)
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The Pursuit of Happyness Poster Image
MOVIE

The Pursuit of Happyness

age 12+

Inspirational but often emotionally wrenching story.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2006)
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MOVIE

Kramer vs. Kramer

age 13+

Sensitive, truthful look at the breakup of a family.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 1979)
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MOVIE

Stepmom

age 13+

Contrived yet effective family weepie.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 1998)
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Boyhood Poster Image
MOVIE

Boyhood

age 15+

Unique, affecting, mature drama about life and growing up.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2014)
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What Maisie Knew Poster Image
MOVIE

What Maisie Knew

age 15+

Wrenching drama about child custody can spark discussion.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2013)
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A.C.O.D. Poster Image
MOVIE

A.C.O.D.

age 16+

Mature farce about divorce has some hilarious bits.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2013)
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A Separation Poster Image
MOVIE

A Separation

age 16+

Intense but rewarding Iranian drama has complex characters.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2011)
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Celeste and Jesse Forever Poster Image
MOVIE

Celeste and Jesse Forever

age 16+

Talky hipster romcom explores the "perfect" divorce.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2012)
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Jason Nash Is Married Poster Image
MOVIE

Jason Nash Is Married

age 16+

Emotionally raw comedy exploring divorce is edgy, intense.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2014)
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Marriage Story Poster Image
MOVIE

Marriage Story

age 16+

All-too-real divorce drama isn't kid stuff; strong language.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2019)
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The Girl on the Train Poster Image
MOVIE

The Girl on the Train

age 17+

Taut book-based thriller has drinking, violence, sex.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2016)
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