How to Help Children Adjust When a Parent Moves Out of the Home During Divorce

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One of the most stressful moments in divorce is having one parent move out of the home. This is a significant change affecting both parents and children. However, there are ways to help children adjust and mitigate the negative effects of this transition.

Children and Divorce

Research shows that children are impacted by divorce. There can be an increase in behavioral problems and family difficulties as well as reduced achievement levels. However, parents do have some control over this and can minimize ill effects. They can take steps to help their children better cope with the changes in their lives. The key is for parents to focus on what is best for their children.

That means presenting a united front when telling your children about the divorce, avoiding disparaging remarks about each other and ensuring that you don’t make your children feel like they need to pick sides. You also shouldn’t reveal too much information about your divorce or relationship, particularly if it would tend to cast a negative light on either of you.  

Parents must cooperate with each other and allow children to maintain positive relationships with both parents. Studies have shown that the negative impact of divorce on children is greatly mitigated in families where the child’s relationship with the noncustodial parent is given as much importance as the continuing relationship with the custodial parent.

Moving Out of the Home

Both parents have a right to live in the marital home during divorce. However, most couples come to an agreement for one of them to move out. Before a parent moves out, the parties must agree on a parenting time schedule. This is true regardless of whether the custodial or noncustodial parent is leaving the house. It’s critical for children to have a routine and know when they will see the other parent.

To aid in the transition, after the move, the two homes should be set up so that children have their own things in each location. They should have access to similar items (clothes, toys, etc.) in both places so they can feel at home. 

It is also a good idea to consult a family or child therapist who can help you with challenges such as how to tell your children, help them adjust and support them.

If you are considering a divorce and worry about the impact on your children, contact us. We will offer a free consultation and share our experiences in how to reduce the impact of divorce on your children, as we strongly believe that they deserve to be protected to the greatest extent possible.

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