Divorcing when you have kids is hard, and dealing with moving during all of that doesn’t make things any easier. The tips in this article can be helpful for making the moving process as smooth as possible.
Take New Expenses Into Account When Setting Your Budget
When you get divorced, you may have new expenses that you need to take into account before you start searching for a new home or apartment. You may have to make alimony or child support payments, which you should start taking into account while you’re figuring out your monthly budget for living expenses. 45% of attorneys that deal with divorce agree that there is a rise in women paying alimony, so make sure to take that possibility into account when you’re getting ready to move.
Involve Your Kids in Every Step
All of the change going on is one of the hardest parts of divorce and moving, and that’s why it’s so important to make sure your kids know about every change that is coming up. Obviously, you can’t predict every small change that is going to happen, but if there are any you know about, you should make sure to tell your kids.
When you’re searching for your apartment or home, try to bring your kids along with you. They will be living with or visiting the place that you’re going to live, so making sure that they have some say in where you live is important. If you’re going to a day of open houses, bring your kids with you and ask them what they think of different features and what rooms would be theirs. When you’re going to put an offer in on a house or submit a rental application, let them know about it ahead of time.
When it comes time to plan the move itself, make sure that your kids know when moving day is and what is going to happen between now and then. If you have any expectations for them to help with packing or cleaning, make sure that they know that ahead of time so they have time to complete their tasks.
Make Sure Your Home is Move-In Ready
There’s nothing worse than moving into a home only to realize that there is an issue that requires major maintenance work. While an inspection should catch this, there is always room for human error. Something like a corroded pipeline, which costs the U.S. economy over nine billion dollars every year, and you don’t want to contribute to that. Make sure that you trust the person doing your home or apartment inspection and get a second opinion if you don’t believe that their assessment is right.
Make Sure Your Old Home Is Selling
When you’re getting divorced, you and your ex-spouse will likely be selling the home you lived in together. Make sure that you’re paying attention to the market so that your home is up to snuff with comparable houses in the area so that you have a competitive sale. In someplace like the Washington DC metro area, 50% of homes don’t sell the first time they’re listed and need to be changed before being relisted and sold. Make sure that your home is ready to go before you list it to ensure that doesn’t happen to you.
Start Packing As Soon As Possible
Once you have a concrete moving date, you should start to do your more serious packing right away, especially for your kids. We all accumulate things that we probably don’t need, and it takes some time to sort through what you want to get rid of and what you want to keep. On top of that, packing up all of your belongings just takes time. The earlier you start, the easier it will be to pack everything up without getting overwhelmed.
Create Space to Deal With Emotions
Divorce is hard for kids, and moving is hard for kids, which makes moving because of a divorce even harder for them. Although it will be the right choice in the long run, it can be difficult in the present for your kids to deal with all the changes going on. Give them space to properly work through their emotions, and make sure that you’re also working through yours separately. It’s okay to tell your kids that you’re feeling sad or upset, but don’t emotionally unload on them — you’re still the parent, and they are not a therapist or a friend, they’re your children.
Try to Stick to Routine
Although moving and divorce can both cause major routine disruptions, you should try to get back to a routine as quickly as possible after the move. Things like wake up and bedtimes, meal times, and other basic things that need to be done every day should stay at least mostly consistent. If it’s not possible to salvage the old routine, try to start a new one that is at the very least consistent if not the same as the old one. Routines help a lot in times of sudden upheaval, like moving, so giving your kids a structure to function in can make a big difference in their transition back to normalcy.
Give Kids Time to Adjust
It’s going to be weird for both you and your kids for at least a little while. You should try to acknowledge that there have been big changes going on, and that may mean giving your children space to get used to your new home, family dynamic, and overall new normal. Eventually, your new way of life will just be your way of life, and although it may seem like things will never be steady again, they will be.
Although moving because of a divorce can be difficult, you are capable of making things as minimally stressful as possible. With proper preparation and forethought, you’ll be on your way to a relatively stress-free move and a new way of life soon.
What tips do you have for moving with your kids because of a divorce? Let everyone know in the comments below!