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How relocation could impact a child

After a divorce, the parent with primary custody of the child may wish to relocate. This can have several different potential effects on the child in question, and the impacts can be both negative and positive, which is why careful consideration should be made before a move.

Opportunity is one of the most common reasons for relocating. The American Bar Association has stated that the allure of a better life post-divorce, nicer employment or schooling options, and a higher standard of living are some of the top motivators that parents cite when wishing to relocate. Positive impacts can include allowing the child to choose from more educational options or career paths than what might have been open to them back in their home town. It also offers the chance of a fresh start, which may be appealing to some kids.

However, Psychology Today states that moving can be very hard on a kid’s mental and emotional wellbeing. The sudden upheaval and complete change of everything the child once knew can leave a lasting psychological impact and may result in behavioral issues, troubling coping mechanisms, a detachment from or anger toward the parent who relocates, and other negative effects.

In the end, it all depends on the child in question and how well they might react to the idea of such a large change. The best interest of the child is always considered first in issues of child custody, relocation, and so on. Therefore, the decision that is made should be the one that benefits the child the most.

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