Who will I live with?
These decisions are usually based on practical issues such as minimising the disruption to your life, which parent is closest to your school and who has more time to help with day-to-day things. If your parents can't agree this together, it is likely that the Family Court will make the decision. See also the My Rights section.
If there has been violence or abuse in your family, your safety will be the priority. This might mean that you don't continue to see one parent, or that your visits with one parent are supervised by an independent person to keep you safe.
What if my brothers or sisters choose to live with my other parent?
If this happens, don't panic. It's normal for everyone in a family to deal with separation differently. Your brothers and sisters might have different views and feelings about the separation than you. They also have different needs to you.
The important thing is not to let your differences, or different homes, affect your relationship. Agree to work at it! Stay in regular contact. It's worth it!
Will I have to move schools?
This might happen due to practical reasons like changing homes and your existing school might now be too far away. You will need to give yourself time to settle in. Getting involved in activities after school, like sports or clubs, can be a good way to make new friends. Let your parents, a teacher / school guidance counsellor or someone else you trust know if you are finding it hard to adjust. It's also important to keep in touch with your old friends too.
Will there be enough money?
It is possible there may be less money, at least for a while. This might mean:
It's hurtful when my relatives take sides or criticise my parent. What can I do?
The important thing to remember is that everyone in a family deals with separation differently. Grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins will all have feelings and opinions about it. But these are their opinions, not yours and it is okay not to share them.
Try talking to the relative in question about your views and how their behaviour is making you feel. If you don't feel comfortable doing this, ask one of your parents or someone else you trust for advice and help with the situation.
Remember, it's important to try to keep up relationships with relatives from both sides of your family after the separation. Close relatives, like grandparents, can be important sources of support for you.
What if one of my parents moves away?
This can make it hard to spend time with them and keep a close relationship going - but it's worth the effort. It's not your fault your parent moved away and it might help to talk to them about your feelings about it. Ask about visits in school holidays and for long weekends. Make plans to stay in regular contact through telephone calls, sending texts, writing letters, sending emails or using ‘skype' and a web-cam.
‘I feel my dad could have sort of made the effort maybe to say, "Well until you are 18 I'll stay in... [name of city where girl lives]."' (Girl, aged 17)
I'm finding it hard to concentrate at school. What can I do?
It is very difficult to apply yourself to classes, study and homework when there is so much upheaval in your family life.
‘I'd say sort of getting away from it at school helps.' (Girl, aged 17)
How can I help make my new living arrangements work?