Know rights, re­spon­si­bil­i­ties in a sep­a­ra­tion

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - PAUSE & PLAY -

Q-My hus­band of 24 years re­cently left me, our son, 18, and our daugh­ter, 22.

He had an on­line af­fair with some­one he knew pre­vi­ously. He's re­lo­cated to an­other prov­ince to join her.

What are his fi­nan­cial re­spon­si­bil­i­ties? Both kids are a long way from be­ing in­de­pen­dent. An­gry and Ques­tion­ing A-He will have some child sup­port re­spon­si­bil­i­ties which need to be worked out through a sep­a­ra­tion agree­ment. See a lawyer, go to a le­gal clinic or fam­ily court clinic to get in­formed. In Canada, the rules about child sup­port, spousal sup­port, cus­tody, and par­ent­ing ar­range­ments, fall un­der pro­vin­cial laws.

Agree­ments can vary as to the length of time he’ll be fi­nan­cially re­spon­si­ble to­wards the chil­dren, e.g. whether through ob­tain­ing a col­lege de­gree, other education, post-grad­u­ate stud­ies, etc.

Also, his fi­nan­cial re­spon­si­bil­i­ties to­wards you may de­pend on whether you’re earn­ing your own in­come, and what mar­i­tal as­sets you share, e.g. a house/car/cot­tage.

Fo­cus on learn­ing your rights and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties, as well as his.

Q-My 20-year-old son’s very shy. He met a girl through an In­ter­net game.

They met as friends for a year and now are dat­ing. Last month she met my par­ents at my mom's birth­day din­ner. Af­ter din­ner my mother told me she didn’t like her, be­cause she has a hand­i­cap. I ex­pected that from her. My par­ents are very opin­ion­ated and ex­tremely con­trol­ling.

Fam­ily gath­er­ings are al­ways at their home, as I’m the only out-oftown child. I said my son would like his girl­friend to join us, for the next one, and we may stay over.

She asked, “Where would sleep? Can she be car­ried?”

I couldn't lis­ten any longer. I un­der­stand that life can be dif­fi­cult some­times when you have a hand­i­capped per­son to as­sist, but such is life.

I can talk about it to my son. But it’s not my de­ci­sion and choice to make for him. Do I not men­tion what his grand­mother said, and bring her over to my par­ents any­way? Or tell him and let him de­cide?

My wish is for my son to ex­pe­ri­ence life and love and be re­spon­si­ble for his choices.

I didn’t have choices grow­ing up. I'm 56, and still treated like their young child.

Fam­ily gath­er­ings are most dif­fi­cult. Dif­fi­cult Sit­u­a­tion A-His grand­mother’s known to your son. He won’t be that sur­prised, though he may still be very hurt.

Luck­ily, he has a most thought­ful and ac­cept­ing mother.

Tell him. Sup­port his de­ci­sion. Con­sider hav­ing the next fam­ily gath­er­ing at your house, for whomever shows up.

Q-I'm in middle school and made new friends this year – a girl and a cou­ple of guys.

Now they're all ex­clud­ing me. All this girl cares about it is be­ing pop­u­lar. They're all plan­ning to go out for lunch with­out me, it's a big deal - the four of them, but not me.

They also ditched me dur­ing a drama pro­ject. I don't think I did any­thing wrong. I just want to know why. I need help to feel bet­ter about my friend­ship and my sit­u­a­tion. Hurt and Lonely A-They’ve formed a mean gang of four, but I’m bet­ting that group won’t last ei­ther.

Middle school’s a fickle time for those who’ll do any­thing to be pop­u­lar.

You’re not that type. You’re lucky to be rid of them. But don’t give them the sat­is­fac­tion of show­ing that you’re hurt.

Make friends with school­mates who have sim­i­lar in­ter­ests, e.g. some­one from a sport you play, or a club you’ve joined. It makes for stronger con­nec­tions.

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