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What Does Relocation Mean To A Child After A Divorce?

If you are considering relocating as a custodial parent or you are facing the possibility of your child being moved away from you by the custodial parent, you certainly have your own perspective on the matter. How a relocation fits in with your life logistically and emotionally are issues that you have probably thought about a lot. But, what will the impact be on your child if he or she has to relocate? How will that affect your child? What issues are going to be important to him or her?

A Child's Life After Divorce

Children who have been through divorce have already been through a potentially traumatic experience. Even the most amicable divorce still rewrites the world the child knew and felt comfortable in. If that child must now face the possibility of again having his or her world changed because of the possibility of a relocating custodial parent, how does that affect a child?

What Does A Child Look For After Divorce?

Following a divorce and child custody determination, as much as possible, children tend to seek to preserve or recreate elements of the life they had before the divorce such as:

  • Sufficient access to both parents (barring extreme situations where abuse, neglect, addiction or some other issue left one parent as a detriment or a nonviable part of the child's life)
  • Avoiding conflict among the parents
  • Stability
  • A sense of security
  • Maintenance of relationships with friends or playmates

One of the best things you can do if a relocation is a possibility is to ensure that you are considering your child's needs and goals. He or she has his or her own set of needs and goals that may be very separate from yours or the other parent. Recognize the validity of the child's experience and perspective and do your best to incorporate what he or she wants as a factor in how the possibility of relocation is considered.

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