Pathways to Wellness

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If you split up

In Canada, about 40% of marriages end in divorce.  The picture of families in Yukon is very different from Canadian families as a whole.  We are less likely to be married, and more likely to live common law.  Many families are headed up by a lone parent.

 

% of Yukon families

%  of Canadian families

Married couples

54.4%

67.0%

Common law couples

25.1%

16.7%

Lone parent family

20.5%

16.3%

If you are separated or divorced from your child's other parent, you are not alone.  Most experts will say that "staying together for the sake of the children" isn't better than ending a relationship which is not working for you.  

Whether you are together, separated, or divorced, children still benefit when both parents play an active role in their lives.  It can be difficult to put aside feelings of anger, hurt and disappointment which come with separation and divorce, and focus on the needs of your children.   

Even though you are separated or divorced, the children you have in common will connect you for many years to come.  It may be easier to think of your new circumstances as a change in the relationship rather than an ending. 

Here are some things to think about as you work out how you and your partner will co-parent successfully:

  • Think of your "ex" as a business partner - you are in the business of raising your children.
  • Focus on the present and future, and how together you can meet your children's needs.  You may not always agree on what's important or how to handle difficult situations, but you both want what's best for your kids.
  • Put agreements in writing, and stick to them!   You want your "ex" to be an ally in raising your children.  Trust and reliability are important.  
  • Share the joy, and the work, of raising children.  That means setting up routines and sharing the holidays, birthdays and other special events.
  • Don't put down your "ex" in front of your children.  You might even look for opportunities to say something good about your "ex" at least once in a while.

Many separating and divorcing couples benefit from talking to a neutral party.  The Family Law Information Centre (FLIC) is an office of the Court Services Branch of the Yukon Department of Justice that can assist.  They provide information on family law issues and court procedures, as well as printed copies of family-related informational materials.

They also offer 3 different public workshops: For the Sake of the Children, Managing Conflict after Separation and Comunication Skills after Separation or Divorce.

For more information, contact the FLIC Administrator at 867-456-6721 (toll-free: 1-800-661-0408, extension 6721), or by email at FLIC@gov.yk.ca, or drop by the office located on the ground floor of the Law Courts building, 2134 Second Avenue in Whitehorse. You can also visit the FLIC website, at http://www.yukonflic.ca/ or www.yukonflic.ca/fr.

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