You are not the reason for your parents splitting up. Parents split up because of problems in their relationship.
There are many reasons why parents decide to split up. And with each couple, there might be one main reason, or a whole pile of reasons.
Parents usually try very hard to solve their problems before they take action. If you're not sure what your parents' reasons are for splitting up, you can always ask.
In the vast majority of cases, children get to spend time with both parents. How much time you spend with each parent, and exactly how that will work, depends on your custody and access arrangements.
Most parents split up only after trying very hard to save their relationship. Some teens hope and believe that if they try to be on their very best behaviour, their parents will get back together.
However, this plan isn't likely to work, since their parents' decision to split up had nothing to do with them. Their decision to separate or divorce is usually final.
It's natural — and entirely normal — to experience some intense emotions. You will feel better over time. There are lots of ways to help yourself feel better, and people who can help you if you need it.
Many teens whose parents split up feel anxious about their own relationships in the future. But just because your parents split up doesn't mean the same thing will happen to you. What happens in your relationships will be up to you, not your parents!
No, you don't. You have the right to love and be loved by both parents.
If you are feeling pressured to take sides, and you feel you are caught in the middle of your parents' problems, tell them.
If there are things you need to know, ask. You have a right to ask questions about what is going to happen and why.
Lots of teens worry about breaking the news to their friends. But separation and divorce are very common these days.
Good friends will be glad you've told them. You're still you, even though your family is changing.
Common-law parents — parents who chose to live together without getting married — don't have to get a divorce, because there is no marriage to end. But they do need to decide what will happen to their children and how they will divide their property.
When two people have been living together and they decide not to live together anymore, they are separated. However, when married people separate, their marriage has not yet ended. They have to get a divorce to legally end a marriage. Common-law couples don't have to get a divorce, because there is no marriage to end.
Ideally, your parents will make the decisions together about who you will live with and how that will work. Your opinion should be taken into account.
If they can't decide themselves, they might go to a mediator for help in reaching an agreement. Or they might have to go to court and have a judge make the decisions for them.
There are lots of people around you who can help. Tell your parents, teacher, school counsellor, family doctor or another adult you trust.
If you aren't getting the help you think you need, keep asking until you get it.