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Things to Know If Divorce Is Forcing Family Relocation
By John Voket
I know from experience that disruption in routine and residence are two changes that come with any divorce. For children of divorcing parents this shift in schedule can be especially stressful if not managed properly according to the experts at Connecticut Collaborative Divorce Group (CCDG).
CCDG is comprised of attorneys, financial and mental health professionals to facilitate an amicable termination of a marriage. Robert Fried, one of those attorneys says, “When it comes to moving, it is very important that both parents be on the same page when relocating children.
Attorneys and psychologists alike recommend moving during a long holiday break such as summer. It allows for an easier transition and time to meet new friends in the neighborhood.
If you can't wait until summer or other big break, it is helpful to try to do as much planning as possible. Include the kids in some decision making about how the move might go.
For example, do they want to have a friend help them unpack their room or pick out some accessories? Do they want to stay with a friend during the day you actually move out of the old home?
Getting them involved in re-doing their bedroom is often very helpful. It is important for parents to stress the positives about the move, whenever possible.
CCDG Psychologist Dr. Elaine Ducharme also points out that, “It is generally a good idea to have the children out of the house if one parent is moving out first. It is really upsetting for children to see a parent moving out."
Moving to a new school district can also be tough for many children. Therefore, it is really helpful to go to the school ahead of time for a tour and to meet the principal, teacher, counselor whenever possible.
They can be instrumental in pairing your child up with a "buddy.”
“Most children, especially, the younger ones, do well once they have a friend. Middle school and high school can be more difficult because of the cliques that form,” says Dr. Ducharme. “Moving to a new school is easier at a time when everyone will be new to the school, such as the beginning of middle school or high school.”