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When your parents split up, you’ll probably have many new situations to deal with. This section gives you some strategies for facing the changes.

You'll find a list of your rights and responsibilities, your parents' responsibilities, and tips on

  • How and when to speak up,
  • What to do if you're caught in the middle,
  • What to do in some other situations, and
  • What to do if there is violence in your home.

Q & A

What will my friends say when they find out about my parents splitting up?

Lots of teens worry about breaking the news to their friends. Some feel embarrassed about what is happening.

Separation and divorce are very common these days. That means that many people have been through it themselves, and most probably know someone who has.

Good friends will be glad you've told them. They'll know that you're still you, even though your family is changing.

Do I have to take sides, or choose one parent over the other?

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.