I’m thinking about separation. What should I keep in mind?

woman sitting on a bench with her eyes closed and listening to music

Separation is difficult. It can be good to think ahead if you are considering separation. 

Here are three things to keep in mind.

If you have children, you must prioritize their best interests. The best interests of the children depend on the situation. 

Here are some tips:

  • Even if it is difficult, try to speak positively about your ex-partner around your children. 
  • Try to have difficult conversations away from your children.
  • Remember that though you may have serious issues with a parent of your child, the child can still benefit from spending time with them.
  • Understand that your children may need support outside the home. They may benefit from time with trusted adults (for example, extended family, friends, etc.). They may also need professional mental health support. It may be helpful to discuss concerns with their teacher or school counsellor. 
  • Remember that children can react to separation in different ways at different times. Try to respect their feelings while maintaining rules and boundaries. 

It’s okay if you need help. 

Separation is difficult. It’s normal to need help. 

Here are some tips:

  • Mental health supports are available. [link to resources page]
  • Free family law services are available. [link to resources page]
  • It’s always okay to seek independent legal advice. You can consult with a lawyer and not hire them.
  • Some people also ask family and friends for support. For example, some people ask for babysitting support while they have difficult conversations with their partner. Some people ask for help with finding a new accommodation or preparing meals during a period of change.

There are free services available to help you.

There are many free services available to help with changes in your family. 

You can use our self-navigate tool to see what resources are available for your situation.