Families Change
Teen Guide to Separation & Divorce

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Speak Up!

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Talk about your feelings. It will make you feel better. If there are things you need, ask. Your parents may be so upset or distracted that they forget your needs. It's OK to remind them that you have needs and to say what they are. For example, you could say:

  • “I need you both to stay involved with me, and to find ways to make sure this happens.”
  • “I need you to try to get along, especially about things that directly affect me.”
  • “I need as few changes in my life as possible.”

If there are things you need to know, ask. You should have as much information as possible about what is happening. If you are concerned about something, speak up. For example, if you feel caught in the middle of your parents' problems, say so.

Q & A

Q:
What will my friends say when they find out?
A:

Lots of teens worry about breaking the news to their friends. But separation and divorce are very common these days.

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

Q:
I have so many questions. How much can I ask my parents?
A:

If there are things you need to know, ask. You have a right to ask questions about what is going to happen and why.

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

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.