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Divorce and separation

Sometimes, people decide to split up, separate or divorce from one another - for many different reasons. It is not your fault and you shouldn't blame yourself.

Divorce and separationWhat does separation mean?

Separation or splitting up is when two adults who have been in a relationship decide to live apart and end their relationship.

This might be a temporary arrangement, and may get back together in the future, or they may decide to split up forever.


What does divorce mean?

Divorce is the legal end of a marriage. This means that two people who are currently married decide to get a divorce. When someone is divorced, this means that they are free to get married again.


My parents argue all the time, will they split up?

People in relationships often argue and this doesn’t always mean that they are going to split up.

If you are worried about your parents arguing, you could try telling them that you are worried. 

Talking to them will help them understand how you are feeling, and they will be able to reassure you about what is happening.

If you don’t feel like you can talk to your parents, you can talk to ChildLine at any time on 0800 1111.

  • My parents are separating or getting divorced, is it my fault?

    No it isn’t your fault. You haven’t done anything to make your parents split up and you shouldn’t blame yourself. This is something that has been decided by your parents and they should let you know that this is what is happening.

  • Do my parents not love each other anymore?

    Do my parents not love each other anymore? Love in a relationship is based on lots of things like respect, support and trust. If these things disappear or change then the love in a relationship may not stay the same as it was. This means that your parents might not love each other in the same way anymore but they might love each other in a different way. They will always have a bond because they have you and you are part of both of them.

  • Why do people split up, separate or divorce?

    There are lots of reasons why people decide to separate or divorce. Some couples decide to separate so that they can have time and space to work out their problems, or because they are finding it hard to get on with each other.  It might not be forever and some couples do get back together after some time apart.  If they do decide to split up permanently and/or get divorced, it will be because they can’t find a way to work out their problems or live with each other anymore.

  • What will happen to me if my parents split up?

    In most cases your parents will make a decision about which parent you live with, and then you will see your other parent in the evenings or at weekends for visits.  Your parents will want the best for you whatever happens.

    They might not ask you about what you want because they are worried about things too.  Try and tell your parents what you want and make sure that they know how you feel. You might not be able to have things your way, but it’s important to tell them how you feel.

    Sometimes parents can’t agree about who their children will live with. They might get help from a lawyer or a mediator who will talk through all the options and who will ask the children what they want. A mediator is someone who will talk to your parents and try  to get them to agree about issues.  This might be scary, but this person  is just trying to work out what is best for the children.

    If your parents are separating or getting divorced and you are worried, you can talk to ChildLine at any time on 0800 1111.

  • Where can I find out more information about divorce of separation?

    There are details about organisations that can give you more information about divorce and separation in the box to the right.  If you are worried about divorce or separation, you can call ChildLine on 0800 1111 at any time to talk to us.   

Other sites that can help


Divorce Aid


Are your parents going through a divorce? Read and talk to others who may be going through the same thing on the message boards.

Divorce and seperation message board

Ask Sam

"Even if you haven't asked Sam a question someone else has, there is bound to be one similar to yours"

Ask Sam

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Divorce and separation 


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