Moving into a new house after a divorce or separation can be the first stage in the healing process for divorced dads. As a divorced dad, your new house can become your retreat and offer you the chance to make new memories with your children.
However, there are several considerations to remember when choosing your first post-split house so it’s important to use your head and your heart, selecting a house that is easy to manage both financially and practically.
Avoid copying your old home
Familiarity can be tempting, but you shouldn’t be pulled into copying your old house. Use the opportunity to move forward, which will be very scary and sad at times, but should also be exciting as it heralds the start of a new chapter in your life.
Location, Location, Location
Staying in the area you know can be comforting, especially if your children are staying with you regularly or for long periods of time – they will have experienced enough changes without having to move schools or make new friends.
However, some divorcees find it too painful to stay close to the old home. If this is the case, then remember to consider schools, shops and transportation routes. Be practical and think about your own commuting time as well as somewhere that has a busy social scene, such as tennis clubs or bowling teams for when you feel ready to move on.
Size does matter!
Although this does depend on how many children you have and how often they will be staying with you. I think it is important for visiting children to have a space they can call their own, even if they are at college or no longer live with you. With this in mind, it may be worth considering houses that can be extended at a later date.
A large garden takes time, energy and money to maintain and if this is something that was the domain of your partner or a shared job, you should consider downsizing or opting for a lower maintenance backyard featuring large patio or graveled areas. Your children will be happy with one or two garden toys and wont mind if there aren’t vast expanses of grass or flowered areas.
If at all possible, you should make sure you have at least three months worth of savings to cover bills and unexpected problems. Contact all service providers to see whether they offer discounts for single parents, and set up a monthly payment schemes to help you budget.
This article was written by Kathryn Thompson. Kathryn is a working mom to three daughters and is a self confessed house removals addict, having moved a total of eight times in the past six years.