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To Sam

I want to live with my dad!!

I'm now going into year 8, but when my mum and dad split up I was only 2. All my life I have wanted to live with my dad, then the other day my dad said I was at that age where I could decide where I wanted to live.

I only see my dad every 5/6 weeks for any time between 2 days /a week. My dad has said he has the space if I wanted to move, and I think it would be a good time during the summer holidays because then I can start when the next acmedic school year starts.

I am not sure what to do and how to tell my mum I want to move to my dads! Plez,PLEZ help me.

Ask Sam

Sam

Hi,

It’s really good to hear from you.

I can see that you’ve been thinking about living with your dad for a long time. I imagine it’s really exciting now that it seems like it could actually happen.

It’s a good idea to talk things through with your mum as soon as you can. Your mum would need to agree to the new arrangements before you could permanently move out. If your mum and dad can’t agree about where you should live, then it might have to be decided by a court. The court would listen to what you want to happen but it wouldn’t automatically agree with your choice, so it’s better if you and your parents can make a joint decision together.

I can hear that you’re worried about how to bring up the subject with your mum. It could help to write down what you want to say so that it’s clear in your mind what the main points are that you want her to know. You could try giving her a letter before talking to her face to face. Even if it is a difficult conversation, you have a right to express your feelings and to be listened to. That’s more likely to happen if you choose a time when you’ve got some private space and no-one is feeling rushed or stressed. It will also help if you can stay calm and be fair about what you’re saying to your mum.

You haven’t told me what it is that makes you want to stop living with you mum. I can see that you have stayed with your dad for short periods on a regular basis. Sometimes a short visit can feel very different to staying somewhere all the time. You and your dad might need to talk about how things might need to change if you move there permanently. It’s also worth being sure that you’ve thought about whether there are any disadvantages to moving, so that these can be talked about before you make any final choices. For example, the move to your dad’s might involve starting a new school, giving up clubs or moving further away from friends. It might help if your dad checks out the options for you as soon as possible so that you know exactly what the new arrangements would be.

If you would like to talk to someone about this before you make a final decision you are welcome to contact a ChildLine counsellor by calling free on 0800 1111 or logging in to 1-2-1 chat. You could also get the support of other young people on the home and family relationships message board.

I hope that this helps.

Take care,

Sam

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