Families Change Teen Guide to Separation & Divorce

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What Might Change

Here are some of the things that might change:

  • One of your parents probably won't live with you anymore. Usually one parent moves out and finds another place to live.
  • You will probably spend time with one parent at a time. You might spend the same amount of time with each parent, or you might spend more time with one parent than the other.
  • Depending on your custody and access arrangements, you might have two homes, and spend part of the time with one parent and part of the time with the other parent. Or you might live with one parent and visit the other parent. (See Dealing with it in the Strategies section for some tips on having two homes, and staying connected with a parent who you don't spend a lot of time with.)
  • You might have to move from the family home to a new home. This might mean moving to a new neighbourhood, changing schools, and making new friends.
  • Your parents might have less money than before, because it costs more to run two homes. You might not be able to buy as many new clothes or eat out as often, at least for a while.
  • You might also be asked to help out around the house a little more than before. This might simply be because there is only one adult to do the work that two adults used to do. Or it could be because one of your parents has to get a job or work more than before in order to earn more money. While you shouldn't have to run the whole household, you should do your part.
  • Your relationship with your extended family — grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins and others — might change, temporarily or for a long time.