Families Change Parent Guide to Separation & Divorce

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Parents' responsibilities

Separation or divorce can be overwhelming for some parents. The loss of a spousal relationship, money worries, moving households, and other details can make them lose sight of their obligations to their children. Being aware of your parental responsibilities at this time will help you handle many decisions involving your children.

Your parental responsibilities are to:

  • Take care of your children and keep them safe, even though one of you lives apart from the family
  • Make sure that the children spend time with each parent, as well as other people who are important to them
  • Listen to what your children have to say, even if you can't always do what they want you to
  • Answer the children’s questions about where they are going to live, how they will spend time with each parent, and other changes they may have to deal with
  • Talk to the other parent with respect in front of the children
  • Talk to the other parent about the things that involve the children

When deciding how to care for your children during and after a separation or divorce, there are a lot of things to think about. The most important thing to consider is, "What is best for my child?" It is a good idea for you and the other parent to create a parenting plan, setting out where the children will live and other important details.

It is important to note that the rights and responsibilities of both children and parents require extra attention in situations of abuse or neglect. Ask a professional to help you decide on what is best for your children.