The Department of Justice in Canada has an excellent section on their website called Supporting Families, with information for parents and children going through a divorce.

The “What Happens Next” booklet for children can be viewed here, and the 2012 calendar that goes with it is available here. The booklet is written for children between the ages of 9 and 12, and explains, in simple terms, what a divorce is. It teaches the basics of family law, and focuses on helping the children understand the emotions they are feeling, and that these feelings are indeed normal.

The book also aims towards keeping children from closing up, by encouraging them to talk about their feelings with someone they trust, like a grandparent or favorite teacher.

Using a positive outlook, and emphasizing the things that won’t change, like the parents’ love for the child, the book alternates between explanations and short story-scenarios designed to show the child that what is happening to them is normal in their situation.

Important terms are linked to an appendix, with brief and simple definitions, to help further understanding and comprehension. Topics addressed in this booklet include:

  • Law
  • Court
  • Mediation
  • Counsellors and Assessors
  • Custody
  • Abuse
  • Seeking help
  • Blended Families, foster families and guardianship
  • Parents moving away
  • Activities for the child to do, which can help them define their feelings

At the end of the book there is a list of more books and websites designed to help children who are involved in a divorce. A very good resource for families to share, to help ease the stress and confusion caused by a separation or divorce.