Frequently Asked Questions

How does this Guide work?

Who is this Guide for?

Are there some tips for parents that are separating?

Are there some tips to help children understand what is happening?

Are there any self-help books and websites that can help me?

Is there a list of people who can help?

What are the services that can help me?

What are the services that can help my child?

What should I say to my children?

What if it is not safe to be around my ex?

What if I don't want to let my children visit the other parent?

Why do I have to pay child support if I have the children on the weekends and I buy them what they need?

Why do the courts take so long?

Whose artwork appears through out the Aboriginal Parenting After Separation site?

How does this Guide work?
This Guide gives you tools to work with. You can go through all five sections at once or you can take a break between sections. Each section includes a worksheet for you to write notes on - helping you see how the new information fits with your own experiences. At the end of each section, you will get a password that you will need to login into the next section.

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Who is this Guide for?
It's for: parents who are single, married, or living common law; parents living on reserve and off reserve; parents who have already left the relationship; parents who are still in the relationship but are thinking about leaving; and for anyone else who has a relationship with your children, including immediate family; extended family members; friends; and elders.

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Are there some tips for parents that are separating?  
Yes. There are two checklists: "Helping My Children"
and "Communication Tips for Separating Parents"

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Are there some tips to help children understand what is happening?
Yes. "Tips for Children" and a list of books for children

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Are there any self-help books and websites that can help me?
Yes. You can find links to websites here and a list of books here (scroll down for books for Parents)

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Is there a list of people who can help?
Yes. You can search this list and find phone contact numbers for people in your community. This list includes: family justice counsellors, aboriginal court workers, transition houses, legal aid, and more here.

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What are the services that can help me?  
Aboriginal Child and Family Services, Metis Family Services, Lawyer Referral Services, and more here.

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What are the services that can help my child?
Children and Teen Resources, Kids Help Phone 1-800-668-6868, and more here.

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What should I say to my children?
Here are the most important things your kids need to hear: "You did not cause the separation/divorce.", "You will continue to be loved, taken care of, and provided for." and "We are not going to ask you to take sides." More information on what to tell your kids can be found here.

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What if it is not safe to be around my ex?
Call the police or RCMP if you or your children are in immediate danger, then get in touch with someone else in your community, such as: a lawyer, native courtworker, police officer, or counsellor.

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What if I don't want to let my children visit the other parent?
In general, children have a right to see both parents - unless they are at risk of abuse or violence. Discuss your concerns with a Family Justice Counsellor or lawyer. If you cannot reach a solution, you have to go to court and get a court order. When abuse or violence is involved, the court may order access to be supervised. When the child may not be safe in a parent's care, the court may order no access.

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Why do I have to pay child support if I have the children on the weekends and I buy them what they need?
Child support is the right of the child. When parents separate, each parent has the legal duty to financially support the child. Usually, the parent who does not live with the child pays support to the other parent to assist with some of the child's financial needs. The Family Justice Services Centre can help you calculate the amount your child is entitled to receive. Their website is here.

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Why do the courts take so long?  
There are many things that affect the length of time it takes to get a case through the courts. It's much quicker - and less expensive - to work with the other parent to reach an agreement. Family justice counsellors, private mediators, and lawyers are available to help you reach an agreement.

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Whose artwork appears through out the Aboriginal Parenting After Separation site?

Aboriginal children drew these pictures. We have not included their names for the sake of their privacy.