San Diego Family Mediation Center

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Navigating the Emotional Challenges of Moving During Divorce

Moving can be hard no matter how old you are. I’ve moved more times than I can remember but it’s definitely somewhere around 15 times. The first of which was when I was barely seven and we left New York to move to Arizona. Looking back, I can remember being both excited and sad to move. A new place can be exciting and my parents had talked to us all about our new home in Arizona and the extra space and yard we’d have as well as how much warmer it was there. I was also sad to be leaving my friends at school and the only home that I had lived in up to that point, but I knew that both my parents and my brother would be there with me.

How We Address It

For kids whose parents are going through a divorce, they have to move at least once into a new home. However, often they are moving into two brand new homes if the parents have decided not the keep the home they’re in now. Talking about the marital home can be one of the biggest issues that we discuss during mediation and the topic often comes back to wanting to keep the home for the kids. I certainly understand many of the concerns that parents have regarding getting a divorce. This includes making the kids move AND often even move schools. Having to experience a big move as a child along with a new school it can be scary to start new, but I also know that it’s less about the house itself and more about who you’re with and the home that’s created.

If you’re going through a divorce and trying to decide whether to keep the house or not there are many factors that go into it and often finances is the deciding reason to keep or not keep the house. That being said, it’s ok if you and your spouse decide that you’re not able to keep the house. You should know that your kids will be ok as long as they know you are both there for them and love them.  A couple important things to remember is how you approach this conversation with your kids. Make sure that both you and your spouse are on the same page about what’s going to happen. Be prepared for lots of questions from your kids. If you are going to be moving somewhere that requires them to move schools, then that should be part of the conversation. In an age-appropriate manner, inform them about what’s going on. This can lessen anxiety about what’s going to happen. It may seem like you want to tell the kids as soon as you know, but it’s more important to be able to have a plan to share with them then telling them the second it happens.

Deciding whether to move and talking to kids about moving can be stressful if you need assistance with these discussions or others give us a call at 858-736-2411.