Ask Sam letter


To Sam

I don't want to live here anymore :(

I'm 14 now and my mum and dad have been divorced for just over 3 and a half years. I currently live with my mum and older brother,the court said that I am to stay at my dad's just once every two weeks,this depresses me a great deal,I feel my life would be better and healthier if I lived at my dad's,I think that my school work would get noticeably better and I know that my social life would improve too,the only thing that I'm worried about is upsetting my nan and grandad or even mum,she has a partner that lives the other side of the world and is always on Skype to him,it gets too much for me,what do I do? Am I allowed to live with my dad instead of my mum? And if so,how would I do this, what steps would I have to take
Ask Sam


Hi there,

Thank you for getting in touch with me about this. I can hear you’re feeling depressed because the court has said that you are only allowed to see your dad once every two weeks. The decision about who you live with can sometimes be complicated and there may be a few different sides to it.

You feel things would get better if you lived with your dad - it might help you to make a list of how you think life would get better and how you would feel. You could then think about speaking to someone about this and you could show them this list.

I can hear you don’t want to upset your family but remember that your thoughts and feelings are important and you do deserve to be listened to. If you are open about your feelings, people are more likely to be able to help you.

You could talk to your mum about how you feel when she is on Skype. If you feel that it is getting too much for you then you could think about ways to distract yourself. For example, you could listen to music, read, write, do some exercise or talk to some friends. You could also try talking to a trusted adult about the way you are feeling. This could be a teacher or even a school counsellor.

The laws around family can be really complicated and so I won’t be able to tell you if you are allowed to live with your dad because it depends on many things about your situation that I don’t know about. What you could do is talk to an organisation called The Children’s Legal Centre. They can give you some free legal advice and tell you exactly what your rights are. You can talk to them either online or on the phone.

You could also talk to a ChildLine counsellor about what this situation is like for you – we are always here to help you. You can do this by calling 0800 1111 and calls are free. You could also have a 1-2-1 chat online or get in touch by email.

Take care,

Need help straight away?

You can talk privately to a counsellor online or call 0800 1111 for free.

Ask me a question

You can ask me about anything you want, there's nothing too big or small. I read every single letter but I can only answer a few each week. My replies are published here on my page.

Write me a letter