When you divorce, you often need to move house. If you have kids, they might need to move house twice. Once to your new place, once to your co-parent’s new place.
However much your children liked or hated their old house, they may well miss it when you divorce. It was where they lived when you were “a family,” and as such, represented a stability they may be struggling to find.
Make them feel like it’s their home, not just yours
As a divorcing adult, it is natural to say things such as, “Are you going to your dad’s this week?” Or, “Did you have a nice time at your mom’s?” Your kids may be fine with that, but it could leave them wondering where then is their house?
Allowing your children to take part in selecting “your” new place makes it more likely they consider it “ours” than yours. You want your child to feel they have two homes, not that they are eternal visitors.
Give them their own space in each place
Your budget may limit your ability to give your child their own room, but try to create some part of the house that is theirs. While you might dream of making it special for them, decorating with them rather than for them will help them feel more involved.
Housing is only one part of what helps a child gain stability after divorce. Even if your child has a beautiful space in both homes, they are unlikely to feel stable if they see you and your co-parent fighting constantly.
Creating a parenting plan helps set out the framework for your child’s life from now on. Knowing where they will be on certain days and what rules apply in each home puts back some of the structure lost amid the upheaval of divorce.