Going through a divorce means that one party will have to move out of the marital home. When you have children, you’ll have to help them adjust to life in two homes. When the homes are fairly close to each other, the transition is big but not as big as if one parent has to move to another city.
One of the most important things you can do is to make sure that the child custody order allows the move. Sometimes, there are geographical restrictions in place that limit where the custodial parent can move with the children.
Define the reality for the children
The children will take their cues from you on how to handle the transition. Be positive about the move, but make sure you’re being realistic. You want them to know what’s going to happen without having any false hope about things.
Set visitation expectations
If the move isn’t very close, the children might worry about how they’re going to be able to see their friends, extended family members and other important people — including their co-parent. Provide them with a plan for this so they know that they won’t have to give up the people they care about.
Allow acclimation time
The transition to the new home won’t be immediate for the children. It will take them time to warm up to the new place. Be sure that you set the ground rules for the home early. Some parents are tempted to coddle the children and allow things usually won’t. This can make it hard for the kids to adjust.
Ensure you have the parenting plan set up so you can refer to it as needed. Having the parenting time schedule set is important, especially if one parent is moving out of the area. Working with someone who can help you to come up with creative solutions to the child custody order.