Transitioning to a new home after divorce

After a long and difficult divorce process, a single mom and her kids need to find some stability and calm as soon as possible. The opportunity to get settled in with a new home presents the chance to do exactly that.

But this transition will take some careful attention to details if it’s going to be successful. Setting up housekeeping in a new place requires all the same steps that were used in setting up at the old place. The transition can be even harder if your kids were born while you lived in the previous home, because you made adjustments for them gradually instead of all at once, the way you will have to do now.

Don’t despair, though. You’re in the final stages before getting life back to normal. Let’s look at some of the things you should focus on doing in the new home to make it a safe and happy transition.

Considerations For Renters

Because many divorces result in the sale of a jointly-owned home, you’re probably starting over in a rented place. It’s a very common situation, but it’s one where you could really make a costly mistake.

When you owned a home, you carried a homeowner’s policy which covered the building itself as well as your belongings. But in a rental, you have no such coverage. The only thing covered by the property owner’s insurance is the building. If the place you rent catches fire, your belongings are not covered.

So it’s very important to take out renter insurance. Such a policy will cover furniture, televisions, and so forth if a fire destroys them. Rates are manageable, and it is well worth the money to know that you will be able to replace those big-ticket items.


As we noted earlier, your previous experience in childproofing might have taken place well after you completed the move, maybe years later. Now you not only have to move in and get acclimated, you must immediately take steps to protect your kids.

There are many hazards involving fire and carbon monoxide that will need your attention. Those are among the biggest threats inside your home, but you need to think about outside the home as well.

Look at your new neighborhood. If you’re in an apartment complex, is there a pool? Make sure that it is properly secured against kids. See if there is adequate protection from roads to deter kids who might wander into traffic.

Determining Responsibility

Every rental situation is different. In some, the tenant is responsible for keeping batteries in smoke detectors. In others, the property owner does so. Find out who is supposed to do it in your new home.

Consider other safety measures as well. If your rental lacks deadbolts, ask the landlord if one can be installed, or if you would be allowed to add one. It’s a fairly simple procedure that can do a lot to keep thieves out of your home.

Look at the grounds as well. You’ll be required to keep things neat outside, of course, but what about plants and shrubs that the owner already had? Will you be the one to trim them, or will management do so? It’s more than just an aesthetic issue. It’s about safety. Excess vegetation can harbor ticks, snakes, and other animals that can endanger you and your children. Establish who needs to keep those plants at a manageable size, and make sure it’s done.


A divorce is a difficult event to go through, no matter how well it’s handled. When your life and your children’s lives have gone through so much upheaval, it can be easy to let your guard down when you think you’re getting settled back down. But in that situation, you have just a few more steps to take before relaxing. The time and effort you spend will return to your peace of mind later.