The transition after a divorce can be difficult for both the parents and children to adjust to. Regardless of how old your children are, they are likely to experience a range of emotions about things being different from what they have always known. The separation may require that the children share time between each parent in two separate homes, or live with one parent while the other visits on a scheduled basis. A recently divorced parent who plans to move into a new place may wonder how to make this change easier for themselves, and their children.
Here are just a few ways that parents can help their children adjust to the many changes that can come along with divorce, particularly if moving is needed:
Encourage Open Communication
Children who have to move out of the family home may be going through a rough time, as they are probably attached to the place they have grown up in thus far. During divorce, one or both parents may decide relocating is what is right for them and their children.
Keep in mind that while you and your former spouse may feel that moving is the best decision, your children may take a while to agree with this. The best thing you can do is provide a space where they feel like they can express feelings of sadness, anger, fear, and anything else they may be struggling with.
Become Familiar with State Laws
A parent that is thinking about moving somewhere that is not close to where the children lived prior to the divorce, may want to meet with a family lawyer. A legal professional is likely very well informed on the laws for your state. There may be certain laws regarding relocating with your children post divorce.
For example, in some states the parent with custody must notify the other parent through a written document about the desire to move. The non-custodial parent then has the opportunity to object to this request, and dispute the relocation during a court hearing. But in other states, there may be much more leniency when it comes to moving with children after divorce.
This is why it is so important for a parent to become familiar with state-specific laws before putting a downpayment on a house, or deposit for an apartment.
Make a Logical Decision About the Marital Home
One of the biggest conflicts during a divorce is which parent is to keep the marital home. This is typically a huge point of contention among divorcing couples. It can be difficult for either parent to leave a home they are emotionally tied to, and may not let it go easily.
However, a parent may want to seriously consider whether they can afford the mortgage, rent, utilities or other bills associated with the marital home. It may be best for parents to logically evaluate whether they are able to financially afford this home by themselves, before going into a tense legal battle over who keeps it.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at Pioletti & Pioletti for their insight into family law and moving with children after divorce.