Although most parents hope to remain close by to one another so that children may go easily between their two homes, sometimes a parent may choose or may have to move away.
If a move is going to happen, consider how best to make sure that your children will be able to share their growing up with both of you. If it is too difficult to discuss this together, think about using a neutral person to help you – perhaps a friend or a family mediator.
Below is a few things to think about when planning a move:
- Think carefully about how you are going to explain the situation to your children. Children may worry a great deal about what moving away will mean and whether this is happening because of something they have done or said. Reassurance about how they will keep in touch and share their time with each of you will be essential.
- Everyone needs support and if one of you needs to be with family and friends who are far away that is understandable. Equally, your children need to have their own support networks too. Think carefully about the pros and cons of uprooting them from their support networks and particularly about taking them away from their other parent.
- If your children know that you are thinking of moving away, think about who they can talk to about what is happening. They may not feel able to discuss it with either of you as they may be worried about upsetting you. A neutral family member, god-parent, or close family friend may be able to provide a listening ear for them.
- If your need to move is because things are really tough for you, think about the extra stress you may cause by making a rushed decision. Try to think about other ways in which you can get breathing space to think through your choices. A short break away may help, time with supportive friends or family members may give you a fresh perspective.
- Remember that moving away may also leave you with less support. As parents, you can find ways of sharing the care that supports both you and your children. If you move away, that support may be more difficult to find.
- Try not to panic and listen to your ex. They may have very good reasons why they feel they must move away, or they may be in a position where they have no choice but to move. They may be just as worried as you as to how best to arrange things for the children.
- If you are worried about your legal rights as a parent whether you are the parent intending to move or the parent concerned about your child being moved, get some early legal advice. You should ensure that you speak to a specialist family solicitor. One of Resolution’s family solicitors may be able to help. Find a Resolution member near you.
- If you are moving away because of harm that has happened within your relationship, it is essential that you get early legal advice and proper support for yourself and your children.