Cascading deletes for Eloquent models that implement soft deletes

4.4.0 2024-03-18 23:17 UTC

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Last update: 2024-05-18 23:47:51 UTC


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In scenarios when you delete a parent record - say for example a blog post - you may want to also delete any comments associated with it as a form of self-maintenance of your data.

Normally, you would use your database's foreign key constraints, adding an ON DELETE CASCADE rule to the foreign key constraint in your comments table.

It may be useful to be able to restore a parent record after it was deleted. In those instances, you may reach for Laravel's soft deleting functionality.

In doing so, however, you lose the ability to use the cascading delete functionality that your database would otherwise provide. That is where this package aims to bridge the gap in functionality when using the SoftDeletes trait.

Code Samples


namespace App;

use App\Comment;
use Dyrynda\Database\Support\CascadeSoftDeletes;
use Illuminate\Database\Eloquent\Model;
use Illuminate\Database\Eloquent\SoftDeletes;

class Post extends Model
    use SoftDeletes, CascadeSoftDeletes;

    protected $cascadeDeletes = ['comments'];

    protected $dates = ['deleted_at'];

    public function comments()
        return $this->hasMany(Comment::class);

Now you can delete an App\Post record, and any associated App\Comment records will be deleted. If the App\Comment record implements the CascadeSoftDeletes trait as well, it's children will also be deleted and so on.

$post = App\Post::find($postId)
$post->delete(); // Soft delete the post, which will also trigger the delete() method on any comments and their children.

Note: It's important to know that when you cascade your soft deleted child records, there is no way to know which were deleted by the cascading operation, and which were deleted prior to that. This means that when you restore the blog post, the associated comments will not be.

Because this trait hooks into the deleting Eloquent model event, we can prevent the parent record from being deleted as well as any child records, if any exception is triggered. A LogicException will be triggered if the model does not use the Illuminate\Database\Eloquent\SoftDeletes trait, or if any of the defined cascadeDeletes relationships do not exist, or do not return an instance of Illuminate\Database\Eloquent\Relations\Relation.


This trait is installed via Composer. To install, simply add to your composer.json file:

$ composer require dyrynda/laravel-cascade-soft-deletes


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