The divorce papers have been signed and now it’s officially time to move on. Now you’re thinking that maybe you can live happily ever after by moving somewhere else far away from your ex-spouse. There are many things you will need to consider regarding relocation. Here’s everything you need to know about relocating after divorce.
Buying A House
One of the things you will need to do when relocating is to find a place to live. Depending on what you can afford, you may choose to look at homes for sale. Look for reputable realtors in the area where you plan to move to help you. Search online and check reviews from past clients on any real estate agents you’re considering. There are also many websites where you can browse real estate listings as well.
Do as much research as you can about the new community you plan on moving to. You may need to find out where the best schools are if you have children and how safe the neighborhood is where you are buying a home. Look for information on the services you’ll need such as doctors, utility companies, and banks. This will help you get settled in easier once you arrive at your new place.
Handling Your Finances
Once your divorce is over, you may have financial issues that you may need to address. If you still have joint accounts with your ex-spouse, it’s a good idea to separate yourself from them as soon as possible. This includes things like credit cards and retirement accounts. You may need to change the name of your beneficiary on your life insurance policy if you listed your ex-spouse. You may also need to contact your employer to have your health insurance policy updated as well.
Getting a divorce may have negatively impacted your finances with the expenses of hiring a lawyer and loss of income. You may also need help with financial planning when buying a home if your credit rating was negatively impacted by the divorce. Check your credit score and consider hiring a financial advisor to create a specific plan that will work best for your new situation.
Create A Moving Budget
You’ll need to figure out all the relocation costs that will be involved after buying a home. In your moving budget, include expenses such as a down payment, utility set up fees, gas, food, and household supplies. Your driver’s license and vehicle registration will have to be updated so you need to set aside money to take care of that. Plus, there will also be moving expenses you’ll need to account for. Make a list of everything you can think of and develop a plan to cover these expenses prior to relocating.
Downsize Your Belongings
Before you move after buying a home, start going through your belongings to get rid of things you don’t need. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to go through all your stuff before your moving day arrives. By downsizing your belongings, you’ll make moving easier and save money in the process. Sell or give away anything that you haven’t used within the last year. This will cut down on how much you’ll have to pay the movers as well as make packing far less stressful.
Try not to buy any more groceries about a week before you move. This will give you time to eat up as much as possible so you don’t have to pack it or throw it away. Consider whether or not it would be cheaper to buy new furniture and appliances later than moving your existing ones. Carefully consider what items are truly essential for your new home and get rid of everything else.
To help make moving easier, pack your belongings in clearly labeled boxes that designate what room they belong to in your new home. If your things will be on a truck that will be carrying other people’s stuff as well, write your name on the boxes to make things easier for the movers. Try to find free packing material and boxes to help you save money.
Keep your important financial documents and valuables with you during the move instead of loading them onto the moving truck. If you will be arriving at your new home before the moving service does, pack a few survival bags of essential items that will tide you over until they get there. This includes things such as several changes of clothes, toiletries, medications, and phone chargers.
Gather Important Records
Before you move, you will need to gather all your important records in one place to have with you when you move. These documents include copies of medical records for you, your children, and your pets. You’ll also want to include your passports, birth certificates, school records, bank account information, and insurance cards. Keep all these items in a safe place so they don’t get lost in the moving process.
After buying a home, you will need to consider purchasing insurance to protect you against unexpected events. These events could be anything from a fire breaking out or a slip and fall of a visitor. You may need to make sure your name is taken off any policy you had while you were married before you can enroll in a new policy. The same thing applies to car insurance as well. You may even want to consider consolidating you home and car insurance together to help you save money after buying a home.
Find a New Job
If you’ve decided that you’re buying a home out of state, you may need to look for a new job to cover your expenses. You may even choose to upgrade your career by continuing your education in order to get a degree to make more money. It can be difficult to find employment in another state if you haven’t moved there yet. You may want to save up to cover expenses for a few months before you officially relocate.
If you know someone that lives in your new location, ask them if you can use their address temporarily for job applications. Use local job sites online to help you find work opportunities. You may even be able to find a position in your new location with the company you’re already working for. Ask your employer about any potential opportunities as well as relocation packages to help cover expenses.
Handling Emergency Repairs
After buying a home after a divorce, you may find yourself handling tasks that your ex-spouse normally handled such as electrical or plumbing repair. Some repairs you may be able to learn how to do yourself by watching educational videos that will walk you through the process. If you’re uncomfortable doing the work yourself, look for reputable companies in the area that can handle it. Get several quotes before having any work done if possible.
Hiring Professional Help
You may want to hire professional help to assist you in your new life. After buying a home, you may need a moving service to help you transport your belongings. Approximately 650,000 people used a moving company in the last year alone. Contact several different reputable companies and get estimates on what it will cost. Make sure you get an itemized list of all your belongings that will be moved to protect you if anything should come up missing before it arrives at your new location.
You may even want to consider using cleaning services to help you maintain your home while you work. Buying a home also means that you may need to find professionals to maintain your landscaping or make repairs. You may also need to find a mechanic you can trust to keep your vehicle in good condition as well.
Legal Issues Regarding Children
If you are planning to relocate to another state, you may need to get the approval of the other parent before you start planning the process of buying a home. Each state has its own regulations regarding the legal process involved. You will need to contact local authorities for specific information where you live.
You may need to provide written notice to the other parent so they can decide if they want to approve or reject the relocation of the children. If they object, you may need to provide proof to the court that it’s in the best interest of the children in order to relocate. Make sure you get the court’s approval before buying a home in another location.
Set Up Essential Services
After buying a home, you’ll need to start setting up certain essential services before you move. Change your mailing address with the post office. Contact all the utility companies to get your accounts started at your new location. Register your vehicle as well as your driver’s license with the Department of Motor Vehicles in your new state. Notify all companies you have accounts with regarding your new contact information.
You may also need to cancel your gym membership. Notify your doctor and dentist about your move and ask them for recommendations for service providers in your new city. Register your children in their new school.
Take Time To Explore
After getting settled in your new home, take time to explore your new location. Get to know where all the essential things are located such as the grocery store, gas station, and anything else you may need. Do some sightseeing at the local tourist spots. Use online tools such as Google Maps to help you out. This will help you to feel more comfortable about calling your new location home.
Consider taking a bus tour to help you get an overview of your new location. Try out the local restaurants that you’ve never been to before. Try to get to know your neighbors and ask local people for recommendations on things to do and see. Get out of the house as much as you can to help combat depression and isolation.
Make New Friends
After a divorce, you may start feeling lonely and being in unfamiliar territory can make it seem worse. Find hobbies and activities that interest you to help you meet new people. Consider volunteering at a local charity organization. Join a club or enroll in a class to learn new skills. Check out your community’s website for any local events that may be happening that you can attend.
You can also join various local groups on social media sites to get to know people and find interesting things to do. Be aware that it’s going to take some time after buying a home to adjust to your new move. You may start to question whether or not you made the right decision. Being scared and feeling isolated is perfectly normal. Look at your move as a new adventure. Trust that things will get better over time.
Helping Children Adjust
Moving to an unfamiliar location can be stressful for children, especially after a divorce. They have to say goodbye to their friends and they may not be able to see their other parent as often. Talk with your children prior to the move and explain why it’s necessary. Let them express their feelings and find ways that you can help make it less stressful for them. Get them involved in the packing process and help them imagine what their new room will look like.
Find kid-friendly activities they may enjoy in your new location. Look for zoos, nearby parks, and entertainment facilities. Enroll them in after school activities that interest them so they can meet new friends. It will take them some time to adjust but if you have concerns, you can seek out professional help from a therapist to help them learn to cope with their stress and anxiety.
Relocating after a divorce can be a challenge but you can figure it out with a little bit of hard work and patience. Once you get settled in after relocating, your new life can be as solid as a retaining wall. Take a moment to sit back and relax with a cup of java and enjoy the fresh start your new journey will bring.