Here's Everything Justin Trudeau & Sophie Grégoire Need To Sort Out In Their Separation

It's going to be weird and it could get awkward.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Sophie Grégoire Trudeau.
Senior Editor

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Sophie Grégoire Trudeau.

With Justin Trudeau and Sophie Grégoire officially calling it quits , the breakup is going to be a lot more complicated than throwing a few items into a cardboard box and handing them off in a public place.

The Canadian prime minister and his now-ex have a lot of work ahead of them as they seek to consciously disentangle their lives. Trudeau will of course still remain prime minister until at least the next election, while Grégoire is a former journalist who already has a book deal for next year.

Here's what the former couple will have to sort out with their separation and eventual divorce after 18 years of marriage.

The divorce

Trudeau and Grégoire have signed a legal separation agreement, the Prime Minister's Office said Wednesday. That means they are separated but not fully divorced.

"They have worked to ensure that all legal and ethical steps with regards to their decision to separate have been taken, and will continue to do so moving forward," the PMO said.

Any divorce between the two would need to go through court and could take some time as custody and finances are sorted out.

Trudeau is actually the second Canadian PM to split from his partner while in office. His parents, Pierre Elliott Trudeau and Margaret Trudeau, were the first to do so in 1977. Their divorce wasn't finalized until several years later, in 1984.

In other words, it could be a while before Trudeau and Grégoire are fully divorced.

The kids

Justin Trudeau and Sophie Grégoire have three children together: Xavier, who was born in 2007, Ella-Grace, who was born in 2009, and Hadrien, born in 2014. The kids are all still under the age of 18, so their living situation will need to be sorted out between mom and dad.

It's unclear exactly what that'll look like, but Trudeau and Grégoire sounded optimistic about it in their separation statement on Wednesday.

"We remain a close family with deep love and respect for each other and for everything we have built and will continue to build," they wrote. "For the well-being of our children, we ask that you respect our and their privacy."

Any custody issues will likely be sorted out in an official divorce proceeding.

The house

If there's one easy part of the Trudeau-Grégoire divorce, it's sorting out who gets to live where.

The Canadian PM gets an official residence as part of the job, and while that residence (24 Sussex Drive) is currently under construction, the Trudeaus have been living in a backup government house called Rideau Cottage.

Justin remains the PM, so he gets to stay in the house as long as he has the job.

It's unclear exactly where Sophie will choose to live, but it's not like the Trudeaus are hurting for money. They also had a home before moving to Ottawa, so that should help.

The money

The Trudeaus' exact net worth is not clear, and there are estimates online that range from just over $10 million to something in the $300 million range, although those higher estimates appear to be counting the various government-owned mansions in Ottawa.

What we know is that Trudeau was worth around $13 million in 2019 , and that number remained fairly stable after he was first elected in 2015. Much of his wealth comes from an inheritance from his father, speaking fees and his salary as PM. That base salary is $194,600 this year.

Sophie doesn't have the same wealthy background or job, so we'll have to wait and see how they divide up that cash. We also don't know how much she's getting from her book deal.

Speaking of...

The books

Sophie Grégoire signed a book deal earlier this year to release two titles about personal and collective wellness.

The first book, Closer Together , is due out in April 2024 and is expected to include plenty of personal info alongside various interviews with others.

"In Closer Together , Sophie shares moments from her own journey: from her childhood, through her struggles with an eating disorder in her teens and early adulthood; from a career as a speaker and television host to de facto 'first lady' and mother of three," reads the description on Penguin Random House Canada's website.

We're guessing she'll need to make a few tweaks to that book before it goes out next year, given that she's now starting a new chapter of her life.

Sophie hasn't shared a title for her second book, but she's going to have plenty of fodder for it now.

Sophie's activities

Sophie Grégoire won't be the prime minister's wife anymore, so will she still hold the various ceremonial and charity roles she had while she was with Justin?

For example, Sophie is an official spokesperson for Plan Canada 's "Because I Am A Girl" initiative and for the FitSpirit Foundation . She's also an Honourary Guide for families with Parks Canada.

Will those groups still want to hitch their wagon to her now that she's no longer the de facto first lady of Canada?

We'll also have to wait and see if she steps away from the spotlight entirely or if she'll still occasionally pop up at Trudeau's side during official visits and whatnot.

Relationship status

OK, so it's a bit early to start talking about Tinder profiles and who might be next in line for either of these two, but the questions are going to come up eventually, and the speculation has already started .

When is it acceptable for these two to start dating other people? How soon would be too soon for Trudeau to have a new woman at his side for a G7 Summit or some other kind of official event? Would you vote for him if he had a new girlfriend in time for the next election?

Or maybe the bigger question is, how open will either of these two be about their dating lives going forward?

Trudeau will obviously have a bigger spotlight on him because he'll remain PM. A new romance while he's in office would almost feel cliché — like it's the plot of a Netflix holiday rom-com . The Christmas PM, anyone?

Anyway, you just know that people will dig into the life of whoever Sophie dates next, too. There really is no pleasing everyone, especially when politics are involved.

Do these two agree to keep the dating stuff quiet for a period of time, perhaps until JT is out of office? And will we ever see either one get married again?

We may not have the answers, but Sophie and Justin will have to sort that out in the months ahead.

Josh Elliott
Senior Editor
Josh Elliott is a Senior Editor for Narcity Media, leading the Food & Drink and Lifestyle teams with a focus on entertainment interviews. He is based in Toronto, Ontario.