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Children and adjustment to relocation during divorce

On Behalf of | Feb 1, 2021 | Divorce |

Depending on the circumstances of a couple’s divorce in Virginia, one or both of them may need to relocate. The challenges of changing familial structure and adjusting to a new place can cause stress and uncertainty for children.

When parents must relocate because of their divorce, they can facilitate a positive and smooth adjustment for their children through careful planning. Involving their children in the process along the way can encourage excitement for new adventures and hope for the future.

Giving advance notice

Children do much better with handling change when they have some time to process what will happen. Parents can give advance notice about a pending move and introduce the new location to their children in creative ways. For example, they can prepare photographs of exciting activities or entertainment found in the new location and ask their children to help them create a vision board of all of the new adventures they want to try.

The courts also need to know in advance about a parent’s intention to move when they plan to take their children with them during a divorce. According to the Legislation Information System, Virginia Law, parents must provide at least 30 days advance notice informing the courts about their plans. This way everyone involved in a custody agreement has ample time to negotiate modifications.

Focusing on the children

Parents who focus on the needs of their children can make moving an exciting adventure. Ahaparenting.com suggests that parents give some of the control to their children. Older children participate in packing. Younger children can put together their own box of special items. Children can participate in mapping a route to their new house and finding the names and locations of their new schools.

Parents should validate their children’s feelings. Moving during divorce can bring feelings of uncertainty, but when children feel heard and understood, they may feel more willing to embrace the changes along the way.