Sign Up for
Our Newsletter

Global Guide to Divorce

Jack Jack the Cat

Moving on

A Single Parent’s Guide To Settling Into A New Neighborhood After Moving

It’s not uncommon for Americans to move multiple times throughout their lives. Some people may simply switch to another city or state, whereas others may head abroad. According to an Internations survey, reasons for moving include love or a desire for a comfier retirement. Whatever the motivation, moving offers an exciting opportunity to get a fresh start. This is especially true if you are recently divorced and looking to turn over a new leaf. The process of transitioning to a new place can be daunting, however, especially if you have a child in tow. So, let these pointers guide you through the process.

Make Sure the House Is Ready Before You Move In

You don’t want to spend the first night in your new home discovering that there’s no hot water for a shower or cooking. Before you move, check that basics such as plumbing are working and that the bare minimum safety devices such as locks, smoke alarms, and carbon monoxide detectors are in place. If any remodeling issues related to wiring, plumbing, or heating and cooling are needed, have these fixed before you move in. It’s also smart to scope out amenities before moving day. Where is the nearest pharmacy or supermarket? Do you know who to call in case of an emergency like a power outage or a broken pipe? Lining up this information beforehand can save stress down the line.

Unpack in an Orderly Fashion and Prioritize Kids’ Rooms

When it comes to the actual moving day, label boxes according to room. As you unpack at your new place, recommends starting with kids’ rooms. You can ensure your little ones are comfortable and stay safely out of the way in their rooms while you finish unpacking in peace. Consider loading up a tablet with their favorite games and cartoons to keep them occupied. After your kids are cared for, prioritize the remaining unpacking based on the rooms you will need most urgently, such as your own bedroom and the kitchen. As you continue unpacking over the first week, you can start adding personal touches that will make it feel like home, such as kids’ artwork and family photos.

Take the Time to Get to Know the Neighbors

Once your house is somewhat in order, host a housewarming party and invite people from the surrounding neighborhood to stop by. You can simply leave an invitation in their mailbox, with a few brief lines about yourself and your child. This is a great way to get to know fellow parents in the area; some may even have kids in your child’s age range. If not, network and ask those who stop by if they know of potential playmates for your little one. Getting kids involved in local activities like sports teams is another fun way to get them settled.

Get Out and About in Your Community

The key to really getting to feel at home in your community is to get out of the house. Take the time to visit local shops and restaurants, join your neighborhood association, and host events to get to know people. If there is a public library or visitors center nearby, check of bulletin boards advertising community events. The local newspaper is also a great resource to see what’s going on in your area. Finally, a fun activity for a single parent and kid to get to know their city is a hop-on, hop-off bus tour.

While moving can be nerve-wracking for kids and adults alike, you should be able to integrate with ease. Keep in mind it will take time to adjust to your new surroundings and that you and your child may get “homesick” from time to time. This is perfectly normal. Stay positive and focus on the many exciting opportunities your new community has to offer. With an optimistic outlook, you’ll be sure to find yourself feeling at home sooner rather than later.

Author of this article, Tilda Moore, researches and writes about educational resources for She is passionate about helping parents and teachers in providing kids with the best education possible. She works directly with teachers and other public education groups to ensure they are working toward our vision of constructing a reliable database of verified information














How To Boost Your Happiness

You may be going through the motions of life while others seem to have the secret to happiness. Happiness may have alluded one during marriage and finding it after divorce is high on the list. What exactly is happiness? It is a transient feeling which requires frequent boosters. Planning an exotic getaway, buying designer shoes on sale, or a day at the spa bring on happiness temporarily. Once the boost is over then one looks for another fix. We are born with a set point for happiness and various studies put it between 33% to 50%. This means that how happy we are is partly due to genetics and we can control the rest. Some people seem to be born cheerful and others more morose, as I have witnessed in the school setting. Andrew Carnegie, the American philanthropist born in Scotland, said “If you want to be happy – set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy and inspires your hopes.” During divorce, just surviving and getting through it may be the goal. After divorce come up with long-term ones such as exploring the world, a better financial situation or balancing family and work.


Cultivating a positive outlook helps one to view the world as a friendlier, safer place. If one expects to be treated badly, then they perceive normal interactions with others as negative. In one study on happiness, people were asked to think about a memory. The happier folks thought of happy ones. The test subjects who were depressed gravitated towards sad or unhappy remanences. What is the secret to happiness? Harvard psychologist Dan Gilbert states “The quality of connections with people is the biggest predictor of happiness.” This message is echoed in a 72 year study by Harvard of 268 men in regards to life satisfaction and happiness. Psychiatrist George Valliant was one of the researchers who found that “The only thing that really matters in life are your relationships to other people.” Post-divorce focus on the quality of the connection with other people. Having several close friends brings more happiness than 500 ones on social media. What is important is engaging with others. Strengthen your ties to friends post-divorce. American psychologist Jaime Kurtz has done much research on happiness in the field of positive psychology.

How to Sustain Happiness

To sustain happiness is to have meaning and purpose in life. Ask yourself these questions. What inspires you? What is your passion? What drives you? If you are drifting along and not sure what you want to do after divorce, map out a life plan. Where do you see yourself next year, in five years, in ten? Giving back to others, whether volunteering, doing pro bono work, or mentoring helps give meaning to life. It is easy to be self-absorbed and reaching out to others creates healthy connections. Some people post-divorce started practicing gratitude, where they learned on a regular basis to appreciate the good happenings in their lives. Stop and notice the little things.

If you were on your deathbed now looking back over your life – did you accomplish all that you set out to do? What would any regrets be? What would you have left unfinished and do you have a legacy to pass on to family and friends? This is a good starting place to examine what you want to still accomplish. People that I talked to on their deathbeds, wished they had spent more time with others or had travelled to specific destinations. Let this guide you into have a more fulfilling life which brings happiness.

Schedule fun activities with friends and family. Since these only affect happiness on a short-term basis, fill your calendar with these events. This may be the time to adopt a pet who showers you with unconditional affection.  It takes time to heal after divorce or other adversities, however if feeling like you cannot climb out of a black pit, then seek some help.  Originally published in The Divorce Magazine


Moving On Post-Divorce

When one is caught up in the turmoil of the moment, it is difficult to fathom that situations will get easier down the road. Time really does heal or lessens the divorce trauma now being faced. So many people expressed the same sentiment, “Wish I would have known that things get better.”

“Didn’t Recognize My Ex”

Annette was married for nine years and stated that she could not be herself or reach her full potential.  This was compounded by her husband being unfaithful. They mutually decided to part ways and got divorced. Annette dated “many men” and met Sean eight years post-divorce. He seemed to be “the one” but Annette was cautious and married Sean three years later. They have been blissfully wed for ten years and Annette says it is hard to remember what her life was like previously. She claims that she “can just be me now” and is living life to the fullest. One morning they were rushing through the airport for an early morning flight. Annette had the strange sensation that someone was intently staring at her from the other side of security and felt uncomfortable. She then saw a man grinning and waving at her. It was only when he called her name that Annette realized that she had not even recognized her ex.

In another example, someone asked Nina about her ex-husband’s current wife, who had been her long-time former friend. Nina could not remember this woman’s name until a day later. Nina is not going down the path of dementia, but rather she has moved on and this couple is no longer on her radar. In other cases, a former partner is a friend and they happily bump into each other at social events.

How Do You Reach This Point of Moving On?

  • Vent your frustrations to friends. If still feeing angry and on edge, then seek out a professional. A divorce coach can give you concrete strategies on how to become unstuck and move on with your life. Join a divorce group for support and learning that you are not alone in your situation.
  • Quit running the movie of your ex in your head. The more you think of her, the more fixated you become. Replace this continuous loop of reruns with visualizations of new opportunities, activities and adventures
  • Learn Meditation and start practicing it for ten minutes a day. This helps to quiet the brain, calm the body and lower blood pressure. Relaxation CDs lead to tranquility and being able to regroup after stressful proceedings.
    1. Discover distractions. Joining groups, learning new skills, or exploring exotic locales changes one’s focus. When one’s brain is concentrating on new material, less time is spent dwelling on the divorce situation. Enlarge your social network by meeting new people such as with
    2. If it is in your belief system, surrender to a Higher Power. People interviewed said that their faith helped them get through the divorce and forgive themselves, and their former spouses.
    3. Get rid of photos, wedding album and mementos of your marriage, or store them off your premises. If you kept the house, then donate or sell objects particularly related to your ex. Many said they got rid of the sheets and bought a few new decorations.
    4. Remove triggers that remind you of your former partner. Avoid listening to the tunes or frequenting the special spots you did as a duo. Find a tour to a new destination.
    5. Acknowledge your loss and recognize that you go through the stages of grief to get to the other side. Suppressing grief can lead to depression or anger issues.

    Interviews with people post-divorce indicated that it took an average of a year to move on after divorce. Resist the urge to check social media for your former spouse’s posts and instead, reconnect with old friends.

    Originally published in The Divorce Magazine