Families Change Teen Guide to Separation & Divorce

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Divorce

When parents get a divorce, they are legally ending their marriage.

The law on divorce is the same across Canada. People in Quebec get divorced the same way people in British Columbia get divorced.

Only a judge can grant a divorce. However, your parents won't have to go to court in front of a judge themselves unless there are things they can't agree on.

Q & R

Q:
My parents never married. Do they have to go through the same process that married parents do when they split up?
A:

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.

Q:
What is the difference between legal separation and divorce?
A:

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.

Q:
Who decides who I will live with? Do I get a say?
A:

Ideally, your parents will make the decisions together about who you’ll live with and how that will work.

If they can't decide themselves, they might go to a mediator for help in reaching an agreement. Or they might have to go to court and have a judge make the decisions for them.

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.