When parents split up, they will usually decide to live in different places.
This may be in the same neighbourhood, town or city (for example if they work nearby) or they could decide to move further away to a different part of the country, or even another country.
There are some important decisions that your parents will make together:
- Where they will live
- Where you will live (if you’re aged 15 years or under)
- When you will spend time with each parent (if you’re aged 15 years or under)
- What other types of contact will you have with each parent (speaking on the phone or staying over during the holidays, for example)
Your parents can make these decisions together without involving anyone else. However, if they can’t agree on everything they may:
- Use a Mediator or Family Lawyer to help them
- Apply to a Family Court to make the decisions instead
Questions to ask
While a separation or divorce is your parents’ decision, it’s really important that you share your opinion, thoughts or concerns with them, so they know how you’re feeling.
These conversations aren’t about choosing a favourite parent or making demands on either of them, but to get an idea about how your lives will be in the future.
Here are a few questions you may want to ask:
- Will you be staying in your current house, moving to a new house, or travelling between both?
- If you’re moving house, will you also have to move school or college?
- When will you see each of your parents and for how long?
- What will happen during the school holidays?
- If you have any pets, where will they live?
Think about what you want to ask and write it down. This will help you to remember to ask all the questions that are important to you.
Do you have thoughts on moving to a new house or staying where you are when it comes to school, seeing friends or other reasons? Make sure you’re honest with your parents and let them know how you feel.
Remember, they don’t have agree with you and may decide something different from what you would like to happen – or the decisions may not even be theirs to make if they go to court – but it’s still important to share your opinions.
Where Can I Find Help?
- If you need someone to talk with and would like support from our partners, The Mix, use this tool to find more content, a freephone helpline, online forums, apps and more: open tool.
- Use our Share Your Story tool to write down your thoughts and read about others feeling the same.
- If you feel that you want to end your life, please seek immediate help from the emergency services on 999. You can also contact HopeLine UK on 0800 068 41 41. If you are being abused you can contact ChildLine on 0800 1111 or Samaritans on 116 123.