Indicating divorce on a family tree or pedigree chart with any kind of detail is limited by space. Spouses are typically viewed in a straight line from the subject, either vertically or horizontally, with children born of that marriage listed below. Divorce can be indicated on a family tree by the abbreviation for divorce followed by the year the divorce took place, if known, i.e. dv. 1950. The genogram form of a pedigree chart, extends horizontally and indicates divorce by two hash marks (some formats us only one hash mark) along the line connecting the couple, i.e. //. If you are creating an actual "tree" image, the horizontal form may be most effective.
Genograms are specific in representing husbands to the left and wives to the right, such that a husband with multiple wives extends to his right, and a wife with multiple husbands extends to her left. The key point is to avoid confusion when representing multiple marriages and assigning children to those marriages.
Help us improve this frequently asked questions area. Please send us feedback or additional questions.