No divorce is easy, and depending on your circumstances, moving on from your marriage might mean moving out of state. A new environment can provide you with a fresh start in the wake of your dissolution.
If you’re moving to move on, here are six tips to help you when moving out of state.
Ask yourself if you can afford to move to a new state
Before you decide to relocate across state lines, consider the cost of living differences. Some states have higher home prices, farther commutes, and more expensive utilities. Tax rates in different states affect gas prices, property taxes, and more.
If you are trying to save money on your move to a new state, consider the most efficient ways to transport your belongings. For example, if you’re bringing a vehicle, you might hire a trusted auto shipping company like Guardian Auto Transport. Before committing to one auto shipping company, request several bids to ensure that you get the most for your money.
As for moving the rest of your belongings, you can consolidate them into suitcases for air travel or rent and drive a truck to save on moving expenses.
Consider the legalities of your divorce
Fortunately, the Full Faith and Credit Clause requires states to abide by the judiciary’s decisions across state lines. That means that the government will recognize the terms of your divorce in all fifty states. But, you might have agreements in your divorce that require you to share your address with your former spouse.
Once you decide where you are going to live, let your ex-spouse know. Your former spouse will need your address to send alimony or child support payments or to send other correspondence that requires your attention.
Adding the complexities of minor children
The status of your children and child support could affect whether or not you can move out of state. In many divorces that involve children, the court has to permit parents to move out of state. Both parents have to make choices in their children’s best interest, so both parents usually have to agree on living arrangements.
If you move out of state because of a job opportunity, the court might approve of a significant move. But, before the court agrees, it must investigate how the move will affect the child’s life. The court may also deny your relocation if it makes it difficult or impossible for your former spouse to visit their children regularly.
Understand the home state
Removing a child from a home state (where the child has lived for at least six months) could result in the state returning the child to the home state. Before moving to a new state with your children, square away your divorce decree and child custody situation, so the state does not have to involve itself in your family for a second time.
Who wins the proceeds from the marital home?
During and after a divorce, the marital home goes to one former spouse. If you are the spouse who has the house, what you decide to do with it post-divorce could create issues. Deciding to move out of state could transfer the ownership to your former spouse, or you might have to give your former spouse some of the sale proceeds.
What happens with the property in the home?
Along with learning about the nuances of selling a former marital home, consider what happens with the items in the home. If you and your former spouse still haven’t split up everything in the house, you will have to do this before moving out of state.
Problems could arise when you start to divvy up photographs or other irreplaceable items. Spats over things in the house could slow your move and add extra stress during an already challenging time.
Even after a divorce, former couples still have a connection through their children, their former home, and the items they bought together. These complexities make it challenging for former spouses to relocate to a new state once the courts finalize the divorce.
Melissa Gonzalez is a Georgetown alumna and self-proclaimed superfan of the classics. When she isn’t journaling, blogging, or making an impromptu trip to Madrid, she’s mastering her craft with MasterClasses on all things writing. To Melissa, great writing is to read between the lines, take risks without hesitation, and live by the anthem: “I would always rather be happy than dignified. Note: no URL