8 Tips for Moving to a New City After Divorce


When you are in the midst of a divorce, there is a lot that has to be decided regarding the process. There are custody arrangements, the splitting of assets, any support orders, and other decisions to make. If you know much about marriages and divorces, you know that many couples end up fighting for extended periods of time. There are ways to avoid this difficult period and come to decisions easier.

If one party files for divorce, and one of the parties can’t be there, you may need an absentee divorce. This may also happen if one party has moved away and isn’t present for the filing. You need to know the difference between absolute divorce vs annulment. An absolute divorce is a severing of the marriage legally. An annulment is dissolving the marriage so that it never existed legally.

Divorce rates are high, but what is the actual divorce rate in America? It runs at about 44% of marriages in the U.S. If you are getting a divorce, it might be a good idea to get divorce mediation so that you can keep your legal costs lower. This is a good way to come to agreements about many aspects of the divorce.

If you have decided on getting a divorce, there are a lot of different ways that the process can go. The divorce may be contested or uncontested. If you both agree on getting the divorce, you can use an uncontested divorce lawyer for the process. Can a spouse force a divorce? Yes, a spouse can sue for divorce if the other party does not agree to the divorce. It is generally possible to get a divorce even when one party is contesting it. After filing for divorce, you will find out whether the other party agrees with it, if you don’t already know.

Are divorce records available to the public? This depends on the district you are in. In some areas, the information may be made public. Often, the more personal information is not available, just the basic dates of the divorce. If you have basic divorce questions, it’s important to ask your attorney about them. You need to know about how the divorce will proceed so that you aren’t surprised by the process. It’s a good idea to lean on your attorney to get the right information about your divorce rather than relying on hearsay to get your divorce information.

If you are moving to a new city after divorce, there are some tips that can help to make the transition easier. Divorce is never easy, a fresh start in a new location can help to heal the pain of divorce, and help you to start a whole new chapter.

There are many reasons that moving to a new city after divorce can be the best option for you. Following some simple tips will ensure that you get off on the right foot and are able to enjoy the process of starting over.

Tip #1: Fully Close the Chapter

Before you start packing you want to be sure that your divorce is all completed. Leaving behind any open issues will just prove to be a tremendous hassle. For example, if you have a separation agreement in place and your divorce is pending, you do not want to leave the area and risk having legal problems with an irate ex-spouse that will require that you make frequent trips back.

If there are children involved it is especially important that you have the legal right to move them to another city. Getting designated as the custodial parent with permission to move to another city is the only way to ensure that you will not wind up with a summons to return to family law court in your current city. Speak to your lawyer to fully understand your rights. Work with your ex-spouse to get them to agree to the move.

It is far better to delay the move until you have the legal right to move with your child. Of course, if there are no custody issues or no children involved you are free to do what you wish including moving to a new city after divorce.

Tip #2: Selling The Family Home

Once you get the all-clear from the court, it is time to start your planning phase. If you have a home that you need to sell, connect with an aggressive agent that sells your house fast. If you do not want to wait to go through the process of selling your house with an agent, there are companies that will buy your house as-is and you can sell your house fast that way.

Before you jump the gun and choose the latter option, consider your options carefully. Yes, it is great to be done with the house and close the chapter, but balance that with the potential financial losses that you can experience by choosing the latter option. Selling with an agent will definitely take more time, and you may have to deal with roofing repairs, other repairs, and showings, but you may walk away with a little more money.

How you choose to sell your house is entirely up to you. If getting “outta Dodge” quickly is the most important thing to you, then sell the house to a company that buys homes as is, and you can be out and on your way in a month. If making the most money that you can off the home is the ultimate goal, then selling with the help of the agent will help you reach that goal.

Tip #3: Managing Your Settlement

If your divorce included a settlement that can be a nice nest egg to get started with when moving to a new city after divorce. If you are unsure how to manage this windfall, contact a CPA firm that can help you to make wise financial choices. If you are moving to a new city after divorce and you have yet to secure employment having the right financial management support is vital.

Making sure that you spread that money out for as long as possible will be critical to the success of your move. Whether it is a large sum from selling off community property like your home, or it was court ordered that your spouse turn over half of their assets, you should get help managing the money.

Many people make common mistakes with money after a divorce. That initial taste of freedom can drive us all to overspend on things like new cars, trucks, and even cosmetic surgery. This is not the time to go spend crazy, this is the time to become thrifty. If your old car is looking a little shabby, consider taking it to the auto body repair shop for a paint job. It is a lot cheaper than buying a new car.

Divorce typically reduces an individual’s income situation substantially. Hanging on to the money until you get your own financial footing established when moving to a new city after divorce is the smartest move.

Tip #4: Where Are You Going?

Moving to a new city after divorce can be a little scary yet exciting. One of the best ways to prepare yourself for the move is to learn as much as you can about where you are moving to. City travel guides are a great resource to learn more about the city you are moving to. As an added bonus, city travel guides are available online which means you can access them from anywhere and on any device. You can do your research while you are on the go.

Here are some things you should research about the city you are moving to:

  • The best school districts. Making sure the kids will get a good education has to be a priority. Do the research about the school districts in the area. There are many different resources online that will clue you into which schools are best.
  • Transportation options. Does the city that you are moving to offer public transportation options?
  • Familiarize yourself with local service providers.

Moving to a new city after divorce can feel a lot more comfortable if you know where to find things like parks, museums, and other entertainment venues. It can also be comforting to know where the nearest automotive repair shop is with the highest ratings just in case you need the services.

Knowledge is not only power it is also comforting. Knowing where to go for simple things like groceries in your new city can help to build confidence. You can connect with people in the city you are moving to through social media groups. Just about every neighborhood has a community board on social media channels. Be bold and introduce yourself and let people know you are coming. People are typically willing to help with information about service providers like HVAC repair, they will help you find the best places to shop and eat and more. Tap into the power of social media to shore up your knowledge base about your soon to be new city.

You also should put on your list of things to research the following:

  • Are you responsible to hire someone for waste removal or does the city cover that? Typically, in most cities, if you live in an apartment, the landlord has to deal with those costs, however, if you buy a home, you may have to make arrangements.
  • Electric, gas, cable, water, and internet providers. Find out the who, what, and where about utility services.
  • What is the actual cost of living in your new city? In most cities, the cost of living is a give and take. In other words, in some cities, housing is very expensive, but utilities may be at a lower cost. It is important that you research the actual cost of living not just how much housing will cost. Look into child care costs, utility costs, and the cost of other necessities in the area.

Moving to a new city after divorce may mean some lifestyle adjustments, it is best to know exactly what changes you will have to make before you move.

Tip #5: Start Packing

Alright you handled all your legal divorce stuff, sold the house, made smart money choices, you are now ready to move. Many local moving companies can assist you in the move. Moving companies offer services like packing and unpacking, moving supplies, and of course transportation for your goods to get from point A to point B.

As a single now, having help with the move is going to be very important. You have enough on your plate to juggle, if you can afford to pay a moving company to manage the entirety of the move, do it. Let them pack it up, load it up, and unpack it, it will help to reduce the stress of the move, and free you up to focus on handling all the details that go along with a move.

Tip #6: Downsize

It is very likely, that moving to a new city after divorce for you, means moving into a smaller space. If that is the case, it is time to adopt that out with the old and in with the new attitude. Get rid of whatever you can so that you are not paying for stuff that you do not need to move with you. Most moving companies charge by the weight of your goods, scaling down on some of your stuff can not only free you from the weight of stuff you don’t need, but also save you some money on the move.

Scale it down but don’t be rash. A lot of times when moving to a new city after divorce, a person will throw away everything and anything that has to do with the old relationship. It is fine to get rid of the majority of the things you shared with your ex-spouse, but you should consider keeping some of the stuff. Why? Because someday you will move past the hurt and anger and regret that you burned those wedding pictures. Every relationship had some good times. Of course, if there is not one good thing you can recall, call your friends over and have a little bonfire.

On a serious note here are a few tips for letting stuff go:

  • If you did not wear it last season you are not wearing it the next season, let it go. A good rule of thumb when it comes to clothes and shoes is if you did not wear them the season before, you are not going to wear them again. Donate, sell, or trash clothes that are outdated, and never worn.
  • If it’s broke release it. We all have those items that we swear we are going to fix that sit on a shelf for months or in some cases years. If you have not fixed it yet, get rid of it.
  • If you don’t love it leave it. That hideous vase that Aunt Joan bought for your bridal shower that has been in the attic for 15 years, it is okay to discard or donate. You have been granted permission to get rid of what you do not love.

Getting rid of stuff that does not make you happy is cathartic. Do it, you will feel so much lighter.

Tip #7: Making Your New City Home

Yay! You finally are in your new place, in your new city, now what? It is time to get busy making your space your home. It is time to make new friends, help the kids find things to do, and make your space comfortable.

It can be hectic moving to a new city after divorce but don’t let the hectic nature of the move cause you to lose sight of how exciting this time can be. You can recreate yourself, and you have a clean slate to work within your new home. You can decorate as you want without having to consider what another adult wants.

Strongly recommended you do the following to help make your new space feel like home:

  • Paint the walls. Paint can instantly transform a space and make it feel more like your own. Let the kids choose colors for their room to help them feel more at home.
  • Consider shopping thrift shops. If the budget is tight and you need some “new” décor or furniture shop local thrift shops and get your DIY on. You would be amazed at what you can find.
  • Make your space secure. If it is just you and the kids, get a security system installed. A security system will give you peace of mind and make you feel more confident in your new home.

With a little effort, you can easily transform your new house into a home.

Tip #8: Make Friends

Of course, making a house home is more than what you do inside the house. Adjusting to a new city requires that you and the kids get out of the house and meet new people. Get the kids involved in extracurricular activities. This will help them make friends, and help you make friends too.

Volunteer at the kid’s school if you can, this will also help you get involved in the community and meet new people. Be open and take the initiative by inviting people over. Arrange playdates for the kids and make friends with the parents.

Moving to a new city after divorce will be a tremendous transition for you and the kids, but with the right attitude and an eye on an amazing future, you and your children will adjust and thrive.

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