What is Separation?
Separation is when two adults who live together, and who have been in a relationship decide to live apart. This can be temporary until they can work out problems or permanent where they go their separate ways. A divorce is an order of the Court declaring a marriage between two persons to be at an end. In Trinidad and Tobago, a court would not make a divorce complete unless it is satisfied that adequate provision has been made for the children. In essence, the Court has the needs of the children as top priority.
Why do people Separate or Divorce?
Sometimes people separate to give each other space to resolve their problems. When couples decide to split permanently it may be because they have not found a way to work out their problems or live with each other anymore.
- Sometimes parents do not agree on things anymore. Maintaining a relationship and sharing the same space can become very difficult if you simply do not agree.
- Sometimes our parents might have very different plans for the future. Going their separate ways is one way that can help each person to achieve their plan for the future.
- Sometimes two people no longer share the same interests and this may cause difficulty communicating.
Whatever the reason for the separation or divorce, you should not feel afraid or guilty about it. A divorce in a family signals change. There may be different living arrangements. You may see either parent at different times. All of these changes will take some adjusting to but it does not necessarily mean that you will never see either parent again.
What to do if your parents are getting a divorce?
- Do not blame yourself - A divorce does not mean that your parents do not love you anymore and it is certainly not your fault. Divorce comes as a result of the relationship between your parents but it does not have to affect your relationship with your parents.
- Draw pictures - Sometimes when our parents are going through a divorce we are filled with emotions that we do not always know how to describe in words. Drawing can help.
- Keep a journal - This can help you to express yourself and blow off steam. Do not keep your emotions bottled in.
- Communicate with your parents - Be sure to let your parents know how you feel. They want what is best for you and expressing yourself may help them make decisions about your future.
- Remind your parents of what is important to you - Sometimes you may miss the parent that no longer lives in the same house with you. Why not invite that parent to your next dance recital or football match? Make suggestions to them about ways that you would like to spend time with them.
Sometimes parents have difficulty deciding who the children should live with and they need the help of a Judge or Magistrate to help them decide. These Judges and Magistrates want to help your family. Do not be afraid if you have to go to Court. Sometimes even, the Court may assign a Social Worker to help your family come to a decision and ease the transition. These people are concerned about your well being and you should not be afraid to tell them how you feel.
If your parents are separating or getting divorced and you need someone to talk to, feel free to call ChildLine at 800-4321 or 131. We Care. We Hear your call.