What happens next? Information for kids about separation and divorce

Chapter Four: Living in two homes

Jacques gets used to it

It was just after his birthday when Jacques’ parents separated. He hadn’t even seen them arguing. "The hardest thing is being told," he says now. "You don’t know what to do or what to say."

"I’d go to my dad’s house and I’d miss my mom; at my mom’s I missed my dad. When it first happens you are so sad, you cry. My mom asked me how I felt about it but I was too mad and too sad to answer."

"It got better, but then my dad got remarried and everything changed again. My dad’s new wife wasn’t as much fun." That was two years ago. Jacques says it’s different now. "I sort of have two of everything — two homes and different things at both places. I collect stuffed animals but I keep them all at my mom’s. At my dad’s house, I collect board games. I get to have a birthday party at both homes which is awesome.”

Today, Jacques finds things he likes about both homes. But on bad days, he can tell you a lot about what’s wrong. On the days he finds the different rules and the different houses too much, he tells himself or his younger sister, Camille, "You get used to it. Just think of the good parts."

Your parents may have an arrangement that means that you will have two homes — like thousands of other kids in Canada. It might not always be easy. And, it might take time to get used to the changes taking place. But at times it could be fun to have two homes.

Most kids want and need to be a part of their parents' lives and to have a place in their homes as they are growing up — whether the parents live alone, whether they remarry and have new children, or whether they go back home to live with their own parents.


No matter what the living arrangements are, your parents are always your parents.

When things work out

Malaika lived weekdays with her mom and her mom’s new partner. Her dad worked out of town. When her dad came back on the weekends, she lived with him. "It doesn’t bother me because I know that I will see them both and it’s been that way as long as I can remember," Malaika explained. "I used to bring an overnight bag to school. Now, it’s just easier to leave things in both places."

Even when Malaika was young, she always knew her schedule. She liked to know where she was going to be and when she was going to be there. "When I was little, my mom made sure I got to see my dad when the schedule said I should. If she hadn’t, I wouldn’t know my dad as well as I do, so I’m happy that she did that."

What object is king of the classroom?

Answer: The ruler.