Know rights, responsibilities in a separation
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.