With 42% of marriages ending in divorce, lots of families are affected and it can be difficult for everyone.

You can't change the way your parents feel about each other

What is it?

When a married couple officially end their marriage. But the situation will be pretty much the same if your parents aren't married and split up.

Can I stop my parents splitting up?

Sadly, no. You have to let them decide for themselves. Have faith that they've tried to work things out already, and respect their decision. This is about their relationship with each other - their feelings towards you won't change.

What will it be like for me when they're not together anymore?

There'll be a lot of changes, but things will settle down. If you have to decide who to live with, make a list of pros and cons for each parent. Talk to both parents about how you want things to be, especially the arrangements to see the one you don't live with. In the end, trust your instincts and go with what feels right.

Can I help them get back together?

It can be hard to accept but you can't change the way they feel about each other. If they decide the marriage is over, it's over. Don't waste your time and energy trying to pretend it isn't. Remember, your parents are your parents whether they're together or not.

Will my home life ever be happy again?

It's hard on everyone if parents are unhappy with each other. Once parents have split up, things can be much calmer. If you're anxious about the future, talk to your parents. Although they're splitting up, they will always have a bond because they have you. If you find it hard talking to them during this tricky time, chat your brothers or sisters or other relatives. Or call ChildLine on 0800 11 11. It'll be tough at first, but if your parents are happier, you probably will be too.

BBC Advice factfiles are here to help young people with a broad range of issues. They're based on advice from medical professionals, government bodies, charities and other relevant groups. Follow the links for more advice from these organisations.


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