There are a lot of changes to be expected after the divorce. You and your former spouse will, of course, part ways. It’s not a requirement for either of you to leave Albuquerque, but you may choose to do so to start over without the burden of painful memories. You may not even leave New Mexico; just a new neighborhood will be enough to give you a new start.
For the parent who has full custody, this means talking to your child about the move. Here’s how you should do it:
Talk to them with Your Former Spouse
It’s normal to feel uneasy at the thought of you and your spouse parenting together one last time, but as any divorce attorney will remind you, the best interests of the child should be considered above everything else. Working together as the child’s parents to assure them that the changes are for the best will have better results than if you break the news to your child when you’re not ready for their questions about their other parent. This team effort shows your child that the move is not a way for you to take them away.
Give Them Time to Say Goodbye to Their Friends
If the other parent is out of the picture, you will have to share the news of the move by yourself. Now, that is a big change, and your child may need time to process it. They’re leaving their friends behind. On top of a divorce, a move makes it seem like the child is being snatched out of their safe zone. Knowing all this, you should not wait until the last minute to tell your child that the family will be moving. Talk to them early on about the decision, so that they will have enough time to say goodbye to their friends and their old life. This will help them accept the change in their own time, minimizing the risk of them feeling betrayed by your decision.
Even before you’ve made a final decision, you can already talk to your child about the possibility of moving. If they notice you looking at real estate websites, they will guess on their own, and the uncertainty and secrecy will only form a barrier between you and your child.
Involve them in Making Decisions
Your goal is to keep a good relationship with your child even as all these changes happen around the family. It’s times like this that you want to forge an even stronger connection between you and your offspring, which is why you should avoid alienating them and giving the impression that their opinion did not matter in the family’s future. They are a part of that family, and if you want them to be happy, let their voice be heard. Whether it’s in something as simple as letting them pick and design their room or it’s as big as letting them choose between two houses you’re looking at, they will feel like you trust them enough to make the right decision for the family.
Your child deserves to be heard. When you’re going through something as serious as divorce, it’s even more important that you remember to listen to what your child has to say.