When couples divorce, the one constant is change. If your life were to be exactly the same as it is now in 10 years, it would be surprising. In the context of divorce especially, divorced spouses remarry, they move, they change their employment status, they go back to school, their careers take off, they get into accidents, they become disabled, and so on.
If you’re getting a divorce and you have children, you may be considering moving away. Perhaps you want to move to another part of the state. Perhaps you want to move to California or Oregon. Perhaps you want to move back home to Texas to be closer to your mom and dad, whose health is failing. Or, perhaps you want to move far away because you met somebody on match.com and you’re in love. However, if you’re seriously considering a move and you have kids, you may want to think twice.
Why a Move May Not Be Best
The idea of moving can sound wonderful, but in most cases, when noncustodial parents move far away from their children, the move impacts their relationship. It’s almost inevitable. Unless you are a high-net-worth individual and you can afford to fly to New York and see your kids every couple of weeks, a long-distance move can be very hard on your relationship with your children.
What can happen if you move far away:
- Monthly visits can turn into quarterly visits and before you know it, you’re only seeing your children once a year.
- Your children can be resentful toward you for moving and these negative feelings may be permanent.
- If your ex disagrees with the move, he or she can get very upset and say bad things about you to your children.
- Skype and FaceTime can be great for conducting meetings, but when it comes to your children, they are no replacement for seeing your kids in person.
- Bi-weekly or monthly visits may sound good at first, but when it comes down to it, you may not be able to afford the time off work, the gas or airfare, hotel rooms, etc.
- You may lose your “connection” with your kids and as time goes by, you may find out one day that you barely know your children.
- Friends and family may frown upon your move believing that you abandoned your children. Such opinions can last indefinitely.
Parents think of moving away from their children all the time, but in many cases, it’s not in the best interests of their children. If you believe that moving far away is sincerely best for your family and you can afford to see your children regularly, then that’s good. We want to make sure that you weigh the above factors before you decide on a long-distance move.