Moving to a new area may fill you with excitement or fear of the unknown. Whatever your reasons for moving, the challenges you’ll face in your new area will be the same. There are plenty of things you need to consider and check so that your transition can be as smooth as possible. But when you’re dealing with the stress of packing and unpacking it’s easy to lose track of the other things you need to do. Here is everything you’ll need to know when you’re moving to a new area with your children:
THE LEGAL STUFF
If you have gone through a divorce, chances are your move is offering you a fresh start. However, it’s worth double checking your custody arrangements. Sometimes it is not permitted for you to travel with your children without your ex-partner’s consent. And occasionally a long-distance move can be deemed a violation of your custody agreement. It’s worth checking with your lawyer. And, if it’s appropriate, let your ex know your new address as soon as possible. Your ex may also want to visit from time to time or check that the property is OK for the kids. If this is likely to cause upset, try to arrange for someone else to be present too.
Every State is governed by different laws. And within each state will be local laws and regulations that you must abide by. It’s important you read up on these so you’re aware of anything that might come up.
They say ignorance of the law is no defense so make sure you’re not caught out. For example, dog owners are breaking the law if their pet chases a bear in California. And it could be an offense to let your kids ride a Merry-Go-Round on a Sunday in Idaho.
When you have children, it’s really important to engage with the local school system. Even if you choose to homeschool, support from your local education authority can be really helpful. It prevents your child falling off the radar when it comes to their academic development.
Most kids are enrolled at a school through a series of meetings with the head teacher. Finding the school that appeals the most can be done online if you’re short on time. League tables and results are often published there. Your old school records can usually be handed in by you. Some schools request school-to-school document handling to protect your data.
Each State can charge different taxes. If you’re taking on a new job, check with the HR department what deductions you can expect. You may be able to pay some local taxes at source. Other tax bills may be posted out annually or quarterly. It’s worth checking early what you can expect to pay and then set a pot aside to save up for them. Local registration costs may also be different. If you’re likely to incur these kinds of charges, it’s worth being prepared.
If you’ve bought your property, you may be keen to decorate it or even remodel it. Perhaps you’re thinking of extending it or changing the garden? In some areas, properties can be protected from major changes. In other areas, you may need to apply for a kind of planning permission from your new local authority.
And if your property is attached to others, your housing association is likely to have a number of regulations and rules you’ll need to follow. Check them thoroughly so you don’t risk an eviction notice or fine.
Moving to a new area can get very confusing when you don’t know your way around. Most gas stations or supermarkets sell map books. These are often more detailed than the apps you can get on your phone, and they’re easier to study.
You could sit down with your kids and pick out some places you might want to explore. And if you have a fold out map, you could even put pins in all the places you’ll frequently be visiting. This could include the grocery store, cineplex, school and work.
Public and Special Transport
If you don’t drive, or your kids have transport needs, you can check local bus routes online. You can also check details from Ride Right to see if you can choose more specialized transportation in your new area. Getting around is really important.
The more you find to do in an area, the more you’ll grow to love it. Getting to school and work are just two of the daily journeys you’ll all be undertaking. But there are plenty of other reasons to get out and about in your new area. Popping to the mall or the center of town for a meal out could be a perfect day out.
Fun Leisure Routes
Of course, there are dozens of fun activities to enjoy in any town. You may find some leisure routes locally for walking or cycling. One of the best places to find this kind of information is from your local tourist information office. If you can’t find one nearby, pop into one of the hotels in town. There are usually flyers and leaflets in the reception area detailing local attractions and things to do. These are also a great way to get to know your local area more.
As a new person to the area, you’re not likely to know what the traffic is like in the mornings and evenings. When you’re trying to figure out the timings for commuting to school and work, this can be a tricky challenge.
Some travel apps give live updates for travel times, but they’re not always reliable and no good for planning the night before! Ask a colleague or a neighbor what the traffic is like. Cycling or walking will not usually be affected. And public or private transportation timetables usually offer adjusted timings for those busy times of the day.
Moving to a new area may mean you will be experiencing different kinds of weather than before. If you’re not used to driving in extreme conditions, speak first to your new car mechanic. They can give advice about choosing different fluids and tires to cope.
You could always try an advanced driving course if you’re nervous about tackling snow and ice for the first time. Dressing for your new weather conditions is important too. You may need to head to some local fashion outlets!
Closing down your old utility accounts is important if you don’t want to continue getting billed for your last place. And it’s very important you register with your new utility company as soon as relocating. Take photos of meter readings whenever you can because these are time and date stamped. Electricity, gas, oil, and solar companies can usually be contacted by freephone number. The phone company may take a little while to get you connected!
Internet, Cell phones, TV
You’ll need to let your internet service provider know as soon as possible what your new address will be. It can take time for the service to be switched on and going even a day without internet can be tough! Cell phone services are usually uninterrupted. All you need to do is notify a change of address when relocating. Your TV subscription should be the same, especially if it is a streaming service. Check if there is cable or satellite connection at the property. If not, you may need to arrange your own installation.
MAKING A NEW LIFE
Finding your community center will open up lots of opportunities to meet new people. There will be a wealth of interesting activities for you and the kids to enjoy. Many will require payment, but you may find one or two that are free. Sometimes the community center is part of the local church. Or it may be based at the town’s leisure center. Your local library will also have all the information you need. It can help you to get involved in community events, local activities and adult education.
Activities & Friends
All the activities you enjoyed at your last home could still be enjoyed in your new one. It’s worth trying to keep life as normal as you can when you’re relocating in a new area. Your children should also try out for all the local teams of the sports they enjoyed before. Find local music teachers that can continue their instrumental classes too. It helps you all to make new friends while feeling you haven’t lost out by relocating. Why not take on some new interests too?
Safety With Strangers
It’s important to remember that you can’t know everyone really well straight away. Always do your usual checks if your kids want to visit the neighbor houses. And if you feel now is the time to start dating again, pick public places that you’ve spent time at first. Always use registered driver or cab firms that you can phone to book. A new neighborhood is full of opportunities and is a wonderful way to make a fresh start.