Author Topic: Divorce Coming - Finding a Rental?  (Read 1789 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Divorce Coming - Finding a Rental?
« on: February 24, 2019, 06:59:52 AM »
Hello all!

I'm looking for advice on finding a rental as a single woman with a child.

I am sad to share that my 11 year marriage is coming to an end.  As heartbreaking as it has been I do believe that there is much to learn from this experience and have hope for a positive future. I have already been challenged and grown in more ways than I could have imagined.  After a 6 month in-home separation, with intention to divorce, on top of many years of disconnect, my soon-to-be-ex and I decided it would be best to take action and co-parent our 2 year old son together from different households.  Through all of this I am grateful that he is my partner, even in divorce. We have been slowly, but surely, unraveling years of interdependence and finances and trying to remain as respectful as possible through it all.

This is new territory for me as I need to venture out and find a safe space for my son and I to live.  I don't want to manage the big family home financially, and potentially get myself in to a bind, and my husband doesn't want to either.  Safety is key and I know I've read it is important to spend a little extra on the peace of mind when choosing a new residence.  Thankfully we will both walk away from this whole process debt free with a little extra cash.

Does anyone have any advice for me when setting out looking for a rental when you have kids?   This is my first time living "alone" as I was married at 18.  I'm worried about making the wrong choice, not asking the right questions, not looking for the right things.  I know that if I don't like where we end up I can always make adjustments, and I will learn from the experience, but I'm hoping not to have to move around much for my son's sake.

Thank you in advance!


  • Stubble
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Re: Divorce Coming - Finding a Rental?
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2019, 09:19:38 AM »
I'm so sorry you are going through this. I suggest you consider parking when looking at rentals, especially if safety is a concern. A place where you can pull in the garage, close the garage door, and then get your son out of the car would be preferable to having to park in a parking lot and walk to your front door. As you know, wrestling a toddler out of a car seat takes some time, with your back turned to your surroundings. Good luck with your search!


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: Divorce Coming - Finding a Rental?
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2019, 12:09:17 PM »
Unless you enjoy caring for a yard, I would try to rent a place with little yard or a place where the owner maintains the yard.  I think life will also be much easier if you and your ex live near each other, but that may depend on many other factors.


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: Divorce Coming - Finding a Rental?
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2019, 04:01:51 PM »
I think my #1 thing would be pest problems. Look at online reviews, ask prospective neighbors if you can. If there is overwhelming consensus of Bugs Everywhere, I stay away. It's not considered a valid reason to break a lease, and if landperson/manager is not on top of it, it can be miserable (bf had this). Even nice looking places can have these problems! Granite countertops and SS appliances have higher ROI than pest control (at least short term)...

(On the other hand, dont take reviews too seriously; people love to complain. Nature gets inside just can't take care of a building-wide infestation by yourself, not worth the risk IMO.)

Obviously, look at neighborhood. There are websites like,, and  that can help suss those things out. Though, if you aren't moving far, you probably know this about your local area.

Think about whether you want top floor (possibly safer from break-ins, quieter for kid's naps) or ground (not worrying about kid running around on neighbors heads!) Although you may not get much choice. People do live with both.

Other than all that...just look at everything and don't be shy. Turn on taps, open cabinets, etc. Come up with a list of questions in advance so you don't forget (Laundry? Parking? What utilities are included? How frequent is trash removal? What happens if my drain clogs/pipe leaks/furnace dies at 11pm on a Saturday?)

Most of all: it will be fine. My parents rented my whole childhood (and still do). I've rented my whole adult life so far. Plenty of good people rent, plenty of people with kids rent. <3 Good luck!


  • Senior Mustachian
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Re: Divorce Coming - Finding a Rental?
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2019, 02:36:25 AM »
See if you can find rentals close to one another, within walking distance to the daycare, then school your child will eventually attend. Mskes life so much easier for you and your child.

So sorry you're going through this.


  • Walrus Stache
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Re: Divorce Coming - Finding a Rental?
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2019, 05:50:10 AM »
Try to rent close to some nice park, playground or some other location where you can take your child outside. And then have as little garden work to do as possible. And ask if it is possible to rent for multiple years. And yes, if you can find a place close to your soon-ex, that would be best, preferable on walking distance.

Good luck with your situation.


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: Divorce Coming - Finding a Rental?
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2019, 11:50:22 AM »
If you are renting in an apartment building ask the property managers how they will handle situations when other people are breaking the terms of the lease. The last time we rented we were in an older building and someone was smoking weed in one of the apartments. Because the walls and floors were old and thin we could smell it in our apartment. We had to sign a lease that stated we would not use cigarettes or other drugs in the apartment so I figured whoever was smoking had signed the same document but when I went to the management they refused to do anything about it. They said there was nothing they could do because it's a weed legal state. We had a 3 year old at the time and didn't want him exposed to that so we moved before our lease was up. I still can't believe they refused to enforce their own lease. They also tried to charge us a bunch of fees for getting out of our lease early but I held hard to the line of "if you are not enforcing one part of the lease why are you enforcing this part of it?" and they eventually backed off trying to collect the fees.

So along with the above story I would say read the lease you are about to sign very carefully and if something doesn't make sense ask them to clarify so you know what you are getting in to. Also, if things aren't going your way NEVER be rude but always be firm. Don't call people names or yell at them but make sure they give you answers that make sense. There are non profits in every state that will give you advice about your rights as a renter so find their contact information in case you need it.