This section is about family relationships and things that happen at home. It looks at what happens if your parents separate and cannot agree on decisions about you such as where you live and who you spend time with.
- My parents have split up and my dad is moving out of the family home. What can I do if I don't want to stay with my mum?
Your parents might disagree about who you should live with if they split up. Any arrangements for you should be in your best interests and should consider your wishes and feelings. You should speak to your parents or another adult that you trust about what you want. If your parents go to court to decide, you might be able to speak to a professional from CAFCASS about your wishes and feelings to explain this to the judge. For more information see our page on Living arrangements.
- I have to go for contact every other weekend with my dad who lives far away from home. Although I love my dad, I do not want to go all the time as I miss my friends and I want to spend time with them at the weekend. Do I have to go for contact with my dad?
You should speak to your parents about how you feel. Contact is your right and your parents should understand if there are some times where you are not able to go.If there is a court order setting out when you have contact this is legally binding but it may be that this needs to change as you get older and your parents may need to go back to court to change the order if they cannot reach agreement. For more information see our page on Contact with family members when parents disagree.
- My parents split up when I was little and I live with my dad. My mum remarried and has other children. I’ve not seen her for ages and want to meet my new siblings. What can I do?
You should speak to your dad about how you feel. You have a right to contact with members of your family, and it may be that you can agree to spend time with your mum and new siblings. If you cannot agree you can make an application to court. For more information on how to do this you can contact us using our contact form.
- I haven't seen my dad since I was a baby but I have his surname. I want to change it to my mum's surname. Can I do this?
You can use a “known as” surname at school without needing to change your name officially, you should ask your mum to speak to the school about this. If your dad has parental responsibility for you, you will need his permission to change your name officially or your mum can make an application to court. For more information see our page on Changing your name.
- I’m 17 and I want to go on a holiday with my friends. My parents won’t let me go. Do I need their consent?
If your parents have parental responsibility for you, usually you need their consent to travel abroad until you are 18. You will need to check with the airline or travel operator whether you can travel without your parents’ consent. You may also need to check with the Embassy for the country you are going to for details on visas. For more information, see Holiday without parental consent.