From the desk of Louise P. Campbell Q.C.:
This questions has multiple answers. Emotionally this is a really difficult thing to do. There are some things you cannot protect them from. But, again counselling is a really good idea. If you are in an abusive situation, there is special counselling and shelters available for children who have been subject to abuse. If you are not in an abusive situation, but decided to separate for other reasons, do not put your kids in counselling specially designed for abuse, it is not appropriate for them. But counselling that deals with separation and the changes in their environment that the family is not going to be together, is really helpful. As far as protecting them from physical or emotional harm if they are in danger, you can use your lawyer or go to court directly under the Protection Against Family Violence Act, to get a Protection Order, you can get an exclusive possession order to get the other person out of the house. You can get a restraining order if you have to, all of these orders do not mean that there is a guard around your house, but it does mean you can call the police if you have to. If you are in immediate danger, going to a place unknown to your spouse, such as a shelter, is ideal. Sometimes you are in danger, not because your spouse is loud and threatening, but because your spouse is sullen and brooding.