Many parents consider moving out of town immediately after a divorce to help them and their children get a fresh start. While moving does have its advantages, there are also several considerations that you need to take into account to help your children thrive during this new phase of their lives.
Children who move away from one of their parents will need strong support to help cope with the change. When children have to cope with changes to their home, their family, and their school, they will likely experience feelings of anxiety. However, these feelings are a natural consequence of any type of family transition, and you can lessen these negative feelings by anticipating your children's reactions and taking steps to address any concerns.
To help your children fare better through your family's move, consider enlisting the help of a professional counselor or therapist. While you may have the best intentions and be able to explain why you're moving quite rationally, the close relationship that you have with your children may obscure your message from them. In contrast, a professional may have a better chance at discussing the situation with your children because he or she would be able to remain a neutral third party.
Moving out of town after a divorce requires several steps before the process can be finalized. This is largely because the courts want to protect children from being taken away from their non-custodial parent, as in many cases it is in the children's best interest to be located near both of their parents.
If you feel that it is the best interest of your children to move, you first have to consult your divorce decree to see if any travel restrictions were put in place. Some states automatically set these travel restrictions. If a travel restriction is in place, you need to file a petition with the court asking permission to move out of the area. In your petition, you'd have to describe how your child's quality of life could improve with the move.
In a new location, you might receive higher wages and more social support from family members, and your children may have better educational opportunities. A family law attorney, like from the Law Offices of Thomas J Donnelly, could help you put together a case that includes all of these factors, and the attorney could also help settle negotiations that could re-determine visitation rights of the non-custodial parent.
Sometimes moving is the best option for your children. If you consider and address all of the possible ramifications of the move, you and your children have a much better chance at transitioning smoothly from one phase of life to the next.