When parents split up, they have to make a lot of decisions.
First, they have to decide on custody and visiting rights, in other words, who their kids will live with and how that will work.
Then parents have to decide how much money one parent has to give the other to help pay for things their kids need. This is called child support.
Parents also have to decide how they will divide their property (the things they own together). For example:
Each parent may have a lawyer. The lawyer's job is to help them understand the law on their parents break-up, their separation or divorce, and to help them do what they think is best for their kids.
If parents can't agree on the things they need to decide, they have a couple of options. They can go to a mediator, and use mediation to reach an agreement. Or they might have to go to court and have a judge make the decisions for them.
Common-law parents — parents who chose to live together without getting married — don't get a divorce because there is no marriage to end. But they do need to decide what will happen to their children and how they’ll divide their property.
When two people who are married decide to split up, they need to get a divorce to legally end their marriage.
They can also decide to get a legal separation and divide up their property. They have to go to court for this, but this does not end the marriage. Divorce is the only way to end a marriage. To learn more about “legal separation” visit Éducaloi’s website.
Ideally, your parents will make the decisions together about who you’ll live with and how that will work.
Whether your parents make the decisions about custody and visiting rights themselves, or with the help of a mediator or a judge, your opinion should be taken into account.