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Separation and Divorce: A Guide for Kids

Separation is when two people living together decide that they shouldn’t live together anymore. Usually, one person will move out of the home.
Divorce is when two people who were married decide that they do not want to be married anymore.


The decision to separate or get a divorce is an adult decision made by your parents. It is not your fault. Your parents may be separating or divorcing, but that doesn’t mean they are divorcing you. Your parents are your parents forever.

You are not alone. Lots of kids go through the same thing you are going through now. They got through it, and you can too.

Your Rights and Responsibilities

  • Understand what is going on
  • Ask questions
  • Express your feelings
  • Don’t take sides
  • Feel safe
  • Feel loved

Your Parents’ Responsibilities

  • Help you understand the divorce
  • Let you spend time with both parents and extended family (if safe to do so)
  • Not say bad things about the other parent
  • Not ask you to take sides
  • Listen to you
  • Take care of you

What you need to remember

  • Your family isn’t breaking up, it is just changing
  • Both your parents love you
  • The divorce is not your fault

Who can I contact if I need help?

Kids Help Phone

You can call their toll free number anytime to talk to an adult you can trust. Kids Help Phone is anonymous, that means they don’t know your name, and you don’t have to tell them if you don’t want to.

Office of the Child and Youth Advocate

This group stands up for the rights of young people.
Phone: 709-753-3888
Toll Free: 1-877-753-3888

Public Legal Information Association of NL

This is a group in Newfoundland and Labrador who give out information about the law. PLIAN has information they hand out and they also do presentations.
Phone: 709-722-2643
Toll Free: 1-888-660-7788


A police officer’s job is to help people during an emergency, to stop people from breaking the law and to catch people who break the law. The ONLY reason to call the police is if there is a REAL emergency, like if someone is hurting you. If you need to speak to a police officer, you should go to an adult you trust, like a parent, teacher, or other family member and tell them. The telephone number for the police can normally be found in the first few pages of the telephone book.

Who can I contact if I need help?