When parents decide to divorce, they suddenly face many uncertainties. What will their future look like? How will they divide custody of the kids? How will they divide all of their assets?
Another common question that divorcing parents face is where they will live. Compared to the other pressing details of a divorce, this may not seem like a significant priority, but it is a larger issue than many parents might think.
What should parents consider?
Some parents pursuing a divorce try nesting, a recent trend that reverses the custody transfer. In this situation, the children remain in the family home, and it is the parents who switch off living there and parenting, depending on how they allocate parental responsibilities.
However, this is not always a realistic option for families. More often, one parent remains in the family home and the other moves to a new house or apartment. In this case, parents must carefully:
- Evaluate and research the location and amenities of their new home;
- Ensure that the new home is within their budget and meets their financial needs; and
- Consider their child’s best interests when looking for a new home.
Important: Living conditions can influence custody
Illinois family courts will consider a parent’s living accommodations as a factor in child custody cases. Therefore, parents should make sure that their new home fits their needs, but also their child’s.
So, parents must ensure they assess the location of their new home carefully. For example:
- Parents might wish to live near their ex-spouse, so they are still close to their child, the child’s school and other locations they are familiar with;
- It is also important to choose a safe area in which to live. Parents always want to protect their children, so finding a safe neighborhood is essential; and
- Parents should consider the layout of their new home. It can help a parents’ child custody case if children have their own space in the new home.
Finding a new place to live can be stressful, especially on top of a divorce. However, individuals must understand that this decision requires thought and consideration for their future.