Families Change Kids Guide to Separation & Divorce

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Jeremy: Parents have a lot of decisions to make when they separate or divorce.

  • Will you live with one parent or both parents?
  • When will you get to see each parent?
  • How often?
  • And for how long?

There are lots of different ways to arrange how you will spend time with your parents.

When parents decide who the kids will live with and when each parent will see the kids, this is called a parenting arrangement. It includes things like custody and access, or parenting time and contact time.

Parents also need to make decisions about money. Sometimes, one parent has to give the other parent money to help pay for the things you need. This is called child support.The money one parent has to pay the other parent to help pay for the things kids need

Your parents also have to decide how they will share all the things they own together. This is called property divisionWhen people who separate split up the things they own.

For example:

  • If they own a house, who will get to keep it?
  • Who will keep the furniture, car, TV, computer, pictures, dishes, and other things?
  • How will they divide their money, and any bills that need to be paid?

If your parents can agree on the things they need to decide on, they can write this down in a separation agreement or parenting plan. If your parents can’t agree by themselves they might need to get extra help.

When parents stop living together, each parent may have a lawyerA person who knows a lot about the law. Lawyers know a lot about the law. They can help your parents understand the laws so they can do what is best for you.

They might go to a mediationA way of helping people agree about things for help, or they might go to court and have a judge make the decisions for them.