When parents separate it can be difficult for the whole family. You may feel as though you are to blame or that this is somehow your fault. You may feel sad, lonely, angry or stressed and it is normal to be feeling this way.

Some things to remember

  • It’s not your fault. A decision to divorce or separate is not an easy one for parents to make. Remember that nothing you have done or said has caused your parents to separate.
  • You are still a family. No matter what happens, remember that both your parents love you and will continue to love you. Your mother is still your mother and your father is still your father
  • This will be a difficult time for your whole family. It is important to think about and respect how everyone is feeling – not everyone will feel the same as you do.
  • If you are feeling down, try talking to the people you can trust and are close to. Talking to a friend, teacher or relative about the things that are worrying you might help. If you can, try to let your parents know how you are feeling so that they can support you. Talking to your parents may also help you understand how they are feeling.

You may not feel comfortable talking to your family and friends about how you feel. On this page you will find a list of useful links where you can find online information about divorce and separation and where you can express how you are feeling.

What if I want to make sure that my parents understand what I am feeling?

It is important that your parents do listen to you, and understand your wishes and feelings if you want to talk about them. They will not always be able to do what you want, and it is up to them to make the decisions, but they should know your views. If your parents get help to work out an agreement you should have the chance to express your views if you want to, but it is your choice.

Please remember that it is always better to talk about how you are feeling rather than keeping things bottled up!

The FJYPB is a group of children and young people, who have experience of the family court or have an interest in children’s rights. It promotes the voices of children and young people that experience family breakdown. The Board works on behalf of children and young people to make the family justice system better for those going through it now. Its members do this by expressing their views and helping Government and other organisations to make decisions about family justice.”

For further information about the kind of work the Board does click on its website below.

https://www.gov.uk/government/groups/family-justice-young-peoples-board

You will also be able to find useful documents here that will explain who’s who in the family justice system as well as people you can contact if you would like to talk to someone about how you are feeling.

Where to go next

  • Cafcass

    If you would like information about what happens at the family court, check out the websites below. The first website is for children and the second is for teenagers. http://www.cafcass.gov.uk/children.aspx http://www.cafcass.gov.uk/teenagers.aspx

  • Child Line

    Child Line has information about divorce and separation. Talk to other young people on our message boards, or call 0800 1111 to talk to a counsellor free and in confidence. Alternatively, go to www.childline.org.uk/talk to chat online or send an email.

  • iRelate

    iRelate provides general information about how children going through family separation may feel and some tips to help you.

  • National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC)

    The NSPCC is an organisation that helps protect children from harm or abuse. If you're affected by or worried about child abuse, the NSPCC has information and support that can help.

  • Relate

    Relate provide support for people who are experiencing problems in their lives. This includes children and young people and their website provides tips to help children/young people cope with some of the common issues young people face. Check out the links which tell the stories of Jack http://www.relate.org.uk/about-us/media-centre/videos/jacks-storyand Wez http://www.relate.org.uk/relationship-help/help-children-and-young-people/wezs-story who turned to Relate for emotional support when their parents separated.