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Relocating after divorce could harm the kids

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It's only natural to want to get a fresh start following your divorce — but that's not an easy proposition when you share a child or two with your ex-spouse. Whether you have primary physical custody or not, it's generally better for the kids if the parents stay relatively close to each other.

A new study, recently published in the Journal of Family Psychology, has just overturned some conventional wisdom that's been driving decisions in family courts now for a while. Generally speaking, the courts didn't consider a parent's relocation a frivolous matter — but it didn't consider it a serious problem, either.

It's actually quite detrimental to the children when their parents don't live in the same geographical area. The physical wedge between the more distant parent and the children seems to create an emotional wedge as well. Even with all the modern technological assets provided by Skype, phones, text messages, chat groups and more, the fact is that the distant parent and the child still seem to drift apart. There's just no substitution for real-life connections and the chance to bond with your children.

The effects of that wedge last even into the child's adult years. Adult children of college age who were separated from their parents experienced more inner distress over their parents' divorce than those that hadn't been separated. They also experienced less financial support from the distant parent and had less of an overall rapport or connection with that parent.

None of this is to say that it's never a good idea to move away after a divorce. There are times when moving does make the most sense. However, it's always something that you want to consider carefully before you make the request. If necessary, make sure that you get the assistance of an experienced family law attorney.

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