Help Kids Adjust to a New Home After Divorce

Navigating life following a separation or divorce is emotional and full of challenges. Moving out of a shared property and establishing a new home can be one of the hardest parts, especially if children are involved.

It’s difficult enough for children to see the dissolution of their parents’ relationship and the family unit they knew; it can become even more difficult if they have to move out of the neighbourhood, switch schools, leave familiar friends and places, and/or get used to moving between two homes.

In an article for TD Insurance magazine, Andrew Haines, a representative for the One Parent Families Association of Canada, recommends that a couple stay in the family home at least until a “separation agreement is defined.” The extra time can help both parties sort out their finances and figure out the best solution for the children.

When one parent is ready to move, Haines recommends trying to stay within or close to the same neighbourhood – even if it means renting. This will help reduce the upheaval that kids experience. School and friend routines can remain the same, causing much less of a disruption to established routines.

To help children feel comfortable in a new home, involve them in the process of getting set up, and try to create a sense of familiarity, particularly in their own bedrooms. Bring them along to help pick paint colours and furniture, let them select their own bedding, and be sure to add touches from the previous family house to create a sense of home.

If custody is shared, shuffling between two homes will take getting used to. Help children feel less anxiety about switching by keeping some essentials (underwear, pajamas and toiletries) at both homes. Create a packing list or a plan that children can follow when it’s time to move from one to the other.


Agents Ensure Your Dream Home is as Advertised

When selling a home, everyone wants to put their best foot forward. Sellers want to maximize their chances at a quick sale and a high price, so they will want to make their home look – and sound – perfect.

But how does a potential buyer know that the seller’s claims are true?

Verifying a seller’s claims about a home – which can range from square footage to renovations to whether the home is zoned for a basement apartment – is why working with a real estate agent is so important.

According to Joseph Richer, registrar of the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO), a seller’s agent is obliged to verify and be accountable for the information contained in a home listing. While a seller’s agent must work to prevent any errors, Richer says that buyers and their agent must also make an effort to verify all the information provided.

In a piece for the Toronto Star, Richer says that the best way to do this is “to have the property inspected by a qualified home inspector, engineer or contractor.” He recommends providing the inspector with a copy of the listing so they know exactly what to inspect.

A buyer’s agent can also make sure an offer on a home includes conditions that will address any problems found in the inspection. If those conditions are not met following the closing date, the agent will work with the seller’s agent to provide a solution. A great buyers’ agent is the best protection you can have.