Going through a divorce is hard enough on a mom with kids, let alone trying to find a way to start over with half of this and half of that. It doesn’t matter whose fault the breakup was, in fact worrying over that just makes things all the harder. What you need to do as a recently divorced mom is to focus on a plan of action. Hopefully keeping your mind busy and focused on details will help during the first critical days when everything seems bleak and dreary. If you are a recently divorced mom just starting over, there are a few things you should consider before making any snap decisions.
Who Goes Where?
If you jointly owned a home, one that is mortgaged to the hilt, it may mean that you need to let it go because payments would be out of the question on a very limited and fixed income. Sure dad will need to pay child support but that doesn’t mean a lot of money. In fact, there are few cases where child support even covers the cost of a mortgage and unless you are in a position to go out and work, it might just be a hopeless cause.
Your ex may be able to afford the house plus child support and/or alimony but if you can’t, you should look into leasing a home for yourself and your children. From small apartments to small houses, there are plenty out there that you can rent for perhaps half of what you are now paying on the mortgage. Who gets the house is a big consideration and sure to take a lot of your time, so consider working with your family lawyer to find a resolution if possible.
Moving to a New Neighborhood – Check out the Schools
If you got married just out of college, you may never have had to rent before – at least not on your own. Maybe you rented the first few years of marriage before the kids came along and maybe you leased an apartment with other students while away at school. However, if you’ve never rented before with children, there are a ton of considerations before choosing where you want to land. The first thing to do is check out the schools.
If you are extremely lucky you just might find an apartment or home in the same school district but if not, carefully consider the reputation and location of the school where your kids will be zoned. If you feel their education will suffer, you could request a transfer to the school they are attending now in some counties around the US. Just know that you will need to drive them to and fro because there wouldn’t be a call for busing and the county would not support it anyways. It’s your request, they figure you need to consider the logistics.
Expenses You Hadn’t Counted On
While you know you need the car to be insured in order to safely (and legally!) drive the kids to and from school, have you considered renters insurance? Of course you had to have homeowner’s insurance on your house because it was required by the mortgage lender, but when you rent there is nothing to say you must carry renter’s insurance from a company like this one. While homes are often targeted for theft, apartments are sometimes easier to break into and so become more easily targeted. Also, if there is a fire in the apartment below you and you sustain damage as a result, their insurance will not cover the loss within your unit.
By spending your time figuring out what needs to be paid and what doesn’t, you will soon notice that you have less time on your hands to mourn the death of a relationship. This is where anger usually sets in because you and the children now need to adjust your lives unfairly. This is also where you seek help. Don’t go it alone because there are counselors and groups out there to be there for you through the transition. But first, keep busy and you’ll soon see that you are strong and you can do it. Of course you can, your kids need you!