The separation of your parents is a really hard thing to experience. It is important that you know that you have certain rights and that you know how you might be able to use those rights in certain situations. It’s never easy and if your parents are not getting along right now it might feel really lonely or you might feel powerless.
It’s important to know that there are people who care about you and will want to help you. Often this support is only a conversation away.
When parents separate, you have several rights that should be respected by both parents. These rights include:
1. The right to be informed:
You have the right to be informed about the separation and any changes that will occur as a result, such as changes in living arrangements or when you might get to see your other parent. Parents should try to offer you this information in a way that you will be able to understand.
2. The right to express your views:
You have the right to express views and have them taken into account when decisions are being made about your care and upbringing. People might not always be able to do or agree on everything you want, but they should be able to listen to you.
3. The right to maintain contact with both parents:
You have the right to maintain contact with both parents unless there are concerns about safety or well-being.
4. The right to financial support:
Your parents should continue to work together to make sure that you have all the things you need.
5. The right to a safe and stable home:
You have the right to a safe and stable home environment, regardless of which parent you live with.
NACCC has worked with the University of Exeter and NYAS in order to put the following information together.
If you need help making your voice heard, there will be many people who would gladly support you with this, whether a teacher, family member, youth worker, or social worker.
Childline (and the Meic helpline if you live in Wales) are also there to support you along the way, or you might like to contact NYAS by calling 0808 808 1001 or emailing them at email@example.com. You will also find lots of helpful information on their website.