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Relocation Upon Divorce

When deciding where to relocate upon divorce, thoughtful and caring parents must account for much more than commuting distances and other convenience aspects in their analysis. While parents certainly factor in safety as a large concern in their relocation decision, some areas of protection are not as obvious as one might think. Close proximity to alcohol vendors presents many forms of potential danger to your children, and you should exercise great caution in choosing a neighborhood that limits easy access to such.

Liquor stores, corner groceries, and other convenience outlets are found in almost every neighborhood, but the handiness of such stores represents a double-edged sword for careful parents. Alcohol abuse is a danger to children as well as adults, and limiting access to those vendors should be a paramount consideration for relocating divorcees -with either shared or full custody.

The American Journal of Public Health recently published an article (Dec. 2008), highlighting these potential dangers. Speaking to the implicit dangers associated with alcohol vending locations, the article declared, in part, “Our study suggests that living in close proximity to alcohol outlets is a risk factor for youth [.]” (The Los Angeles Times’ Jeannine Stein expounded on that article in her recent column, “Alcohol Adjacent.”) Aside from the obvious problem of underage drinking, the Journal pointed out additional potential areas of concern, including “violent crime and drunk driving,” that occur near such establishments.

Providing a safe environment for your children continues beyond the doorstep of your home. Thoughtful parents will extend their safety concerns beyond their home to the boundaries of their neighborhood. When seeking potential homes and neighborhoods for relocation, take into account the proximity to alcohol vendors -the further away, the better.