Fighting for Custody? Beware of Moving Out

When parents file for divorce, they usually fall into two categories: those who know how their child custody arrangement is going to play out, and those who anticipate a child custody battle. Of course, there are variations in between.

Which category do you fall into? Do you feel that child custody is going to be a non-issue in your divorce? Or, are you preparing for a full-blown child custody battle? If it’s the latter, there’s a good chance your spouse has already said something to the effect of, “There’s no way I’ll let you get the kids!”

What You Must Know About Moving Out

As a natural course of events, usually when a couple decides to divorce, one of the first things they do is have one of the spouses move out of the marital residence. Typically, this separation makes it a lot easier on all parties involved – the physical distance allows the spouses to cool down and get some much-needed space, peace and calm.

If you’re thinking about moving in with your parents briefly, crashing in your best friend’s guest room or couch, or renting an apartment and you anticipate a child custody battle, we want to warn you about moving out too soon and how doing so could negatively impact your child custody case.

Sending the Wrong Message

We understand that living under the same roof as your soon-to-be-ex may be like World War III, but if you want to be the custodial parent (the parent who has the kids the majority of the time and receives child support), moving out and leaving your children with your spouse would be counterproductive.

You see, when you move out of the family home, you’re saying, “Judge, my spouse is a perfectly fit parent so I’m leaving my kids in his or her care.” If you move out and down the road you ask to be the custodial parent and your spouse fights it, the judge is going to think, “Well, the kids are happy where they are and I don’t want to disrupt their routine.”

If you truly believe that it is in your children’s best interests for them to live with you the majority of the time, it’s best not to move out of the family home and instead, ask your spouse to go. If that’s impractical and it makes more sense for you to go, our advice is to stay put until you ask the court for temporary child custody orders where you make your future intentions clear.

Whatever you do, avoid changing your living situation until you seek the advice of aLong Island divorce attorney from our firm. We can help you navigate your divorce so you make the best possible decisions that will only further, not hinder your goals.

Contact Jason M. Barbara & Associates, P.C. today to get started