Starting life over after a divorce can be difficult. However, it’s doable with the help of the right people and using the right information.
Before moving, it’s important to ensure all prior commitments you had are taken care of, including financial, real estate, and matters dealing with your children. If you want advice on moving to a new city after divorce, here are 15 tips to help you.
1. Talk to Your Children
Before considering relocating, consider the effects it will have on your children. Settling relocation through the court system is one thing, and it’s possible to keep your children with you during the move. But ask yourself, will this move be detrimental to my children? Will they be able to cope with a divorce and a move? The decision to move is as much for yourself as it is for them, so it’s important to have a deep conversation about the possibility of moving to a new city after divorce.
If your children feel like uprooting from their school, family, and friends will be too much, perhaps take some time to really prepare for a move. Or, if your children do agree to move but want to stay close by, consider moving to a new city not too far away from your original home. It’s all about getting your children to support your decisions, and you supporting your children if they aren’t comfortable or willing to move.
2. Prepare for Relocation in Court
Relocation in court is done if one parent wants to move and take the children with them. In addition, this might also occur if relocating will affect the other parent’s ability to see their children and follow court-ordered visitation rights.
It’s important to talk to your divorce attorney about relocating and what you will need to do to prepare. Your attorney might offer advice on getting a court to approve you moving to a new city after divorce. For instance, showing the court that the move will:
- Not negatively interfere with the children’s lives
- Will provide better stability
- Will have better educational opportunities
- Can provide more income for the family
Can all help a judge determine if you will be allowed to move after your divorce. Get your case ready by showing all the positives that the move will do, and be prepared to have a court hearing ahead of time. If possible, try to mediate with your ex-spouse to prevent the need for a drawn-out hearing. Sometimes, mediation can provide the best solution for all parties involved.
3. Explore Career Options
Once you’ve gotten the okay to move, it’s important to consider your career options. Child custody law can be strict when it comes to parents earning enough money to support their children. It’s important to consider how a move will affect your career and your income.
Ask yourself, will this move expand or limit my career options? Will I be able to find new opportunities in a new city? And finally, can I network in a new city, or do I want to change careers entirely? Answering these questions before starting your job hunt and moving can save you lots of time and make your life easier.
Sometimes, for people in the military, a career change isn’t quite doable. In this case, it’s important to find other options if you’re considering moving to a new city after divorce. Speaking to your chain of command and informing them of your divorce and situation might just help give you options to relocate if you choose to do so.
4. Visit Your New City
If you’re interested in moving to a new city after divorce, consider paying a couple of visits out to the city with you or your family. It’s easy to romanticize cities and look for the best in them. However, all cities have their issues that might stop them from being the perfect fit for you. From not having your favorite Chinese food, to traffic and the need for transportation, it’s important to explore a city or at least do some online research to really grasp how your new city will be.
Consider aspects such as weather, if you will need to buy or sell your car, how other cities compare, and if you will be able to handle the change in population. For instance, will you be able to adjust to life in a small town from a big city? Or adjust to a big city moving from a small town? Only visiting your new city and doing research will help answer those questions.
5. Consider the Housing Market
If you make the decision to move, consider doing some housing market research to see if this is the right time to sell your home. You can always sell your home later on if selling your home will cause you to lose out on much-needed equity. To help you understand if this is the best market to sell or move your home to, talk to a real estate agent to see if this is the best time to move. You can always hold off on moving as well.
6. Decide to Rent or Buy a New Home
Moving to a new city after divorce can be exciting, but also stressful. It’s important to have a stable housing situation set up before you move. Consider renting a small apartment while you tie up loose ends, or even moving to a brand new home if you can afford to do so. You can even choose to rent while your home is put on the market or rent out your old home while you figure out how to sell it. After you decide your housing situation, contact a local mover to help you move your items and get you ready for the road!
7. Talk to a Real Estate Agent
If you do choose to buy a new home in a new city, talk to a real estate agent that can help you sell your home and also buy a new home at a great price. Moving to a new city after divorce can be pricey. A real estate agent can help you get the most money from your previous home, while also getting the best deal on a new abode.
In addition, your real estate agent can help you choose a home in a growing neighborhood that has better chances of growing equity. What’s more, if you have children and want a safe environment, are a single person looking for great nightlife, or have any other requests for your future home, a real estate agent is there to fulfill them.
8. Talk to Future Neighbors
If you decide to buy a new home or even rent in a certain neighborhood, consider talking to some of your neighbors beforehand. If you can spare the time to interview some neighbors, this can prepare you for unseen issues, such as dealing with parking, even crime or violence in neighborhoods, and advice on how to adjust to your new city. Neighbors have a plethora of knowledge that can help you to prepare for moving to a new city after divorce.
9. Visit Local Schools
If you’re bringing your children along, it’s important to thoroughly look at public or private schools around your new city and home. How are the programs at the schools? Do they cater to special-needs children? Do they have a low teacher-to-student ratio? It’s important to also talk to your child and get their input when moving them to a new school. Because moving to a new city after divorce can be tough on your children, adjusting to a new school can be extremely difficult. Take a look at your child’s future school and talk to the administration and faculty to get a better picture of how your child can adjust.
10. Talk to a Financial Advisor
Moving cities can be expensive. If you have joint bank accounts, have other issues with your finances, or are simply looking for help affording the new move, a financial advisor can provide some much-needed advice. This is especially true if you’re a business owner and have to pay for office relocation costs, new employee staff, and other business expenses after moving your business to a new city.
A financial advisor and an estate planner can also help you settle your finances after a divorce. This can take quite some time, especially if you have mutual assets with your ex-spouse. Don’t let moving to a new city after divorce stop you from handling your finances beforehand, and ensure you are able to move to a new city while still having access to your finances.
11. Get an Inspection
Once you move to a new city, it’s important to thoroughly inspect your new home or apartment. By inspecting an apartment before signing a lease, you can ensure that your landlord will fix issues that may arise before you even move in. When buying a home, it’s also important to conduct a thorough inspection that can expose issues such as a faulty foundation or faulty wiring that can cost you thousands in the long run. A mold specialist, building contractor, and other experts can all help you determine if your home is move-in ready, or if you will need to hold off on moving until the hazards are gone.
12. Do Upgrades or Maintenance
If you bought your home because it was more affordable in your new city, chances are you might need to conduct some new maintenance or upgrades to the home. It’s important to upgrade your home to ensure it has all the amenities available to you and your children. This is especially true if you’re moving to a city with new a new climate!
For instance, if you lived in a sunny climate and are now moving a new city with harsh winters, consider contact a heating repair service to make sure your new home is ready for brand new chilly winters. Upgrades can be as simple as replacing your HVAC, doing a brand-new paint job to your home, or talking to other home experts to get your home in the best shape possible.
13. Plan for Your Property
After a divorce, it might take time to figure out how to divide assets including personal belongings. From furniture to antiques and musical instruments, your lawyer will work with you to see what you can take, and what you must leave behind. After you figure out what you can take with you, contact a moving and storage company to see how they can help you pack, and how they can help you move your new items to your new home.
14. Talk to a Counselor
Moving to a new city after divorce can be exciting, refreshing, and a life-changing experience. However, it can also be extremely stressful, causing heartbreak and a number of other emotions. From depression to anxiety and stress, moving and divorcing can take their toll on you. This is why it’s important to get the help of a professional counselor before and after moving to a new city. A counselor can be able to help you adjust to a new city and even help your family if your children are also feeling the stress of the move.
15. Get a Support System
Life in a new city can be fun, but it’s important to have a strong support system to help you during times of need. A support system can include friends, family, or even co-workers that can help you navigate life in a new city. If you don’t have family or friends in a new city, consider support groups such as those on Facebook or other social media to help you make your move easier. It’s never a good idea to go through struggles alone, and a support group can help.