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How Moving Out Affects Child Custody in a Divorce

Child custody is one of the most complex aspects of a divorce, and you must take great care to not compromise your rights.

Moving out — even when done with the best intentions — could influence custody arrangements in your spouse’s favor. Before you decide to leave the marital home, consider the potential ramifications. It is wise to seek the advice of an attorney when weighing the choice to leave the home.

Is Moving Out a Mistake if You Seek Child Custody?

In most cases, the answer is yes — leaving the home is a mistake.

While you may think that moving out will ease tensions and make the divorce more amicable, the courts may look at the situation much differently. The opposing party may characterize your moving out of the marital home as abandonment.

If so, the courts could then come to believe that spending daily time with your children is not important to you. You may be an amazing parent, but packing your bags and leaving may cause the judge to think otherwise.

Does One Parent Have to Move Out?

But what if your spouse is pressuring you to move out?

It’s not uncommon for one party to try to convince the other to leave, claiming that it would be best to avoid fighting in front of the children. But don’t be tempted to comply. If your home is your marital residence, you have no obligation to move out. Unless there is a situation where you are in danger or other dangerous circumstances exist.

Your spouse may try to assure you that moving out will not affect the amount of your time with the children or the child custody arrangements. Once you leave the home, however, there is no way to ensure that these promises are kept.

What if your spouse threatens to get a protective order to force you out of the home?

This would be a wise time to consult an attorney. In some situations, it’s worth sticking it out and letting the court decide whether you should leave. At that point, your divorce lawyer will be able to argue that you did not want to leave your children, but despite your best efforts otherwise, you were compelled to live elsewhere.

Appearances Are Crucial for Child Custody Cases

At the appropriate point in the process, your divorce lawyer will present the court with confirmation of your positive involvement in your children’s lives.

But if you leave the marital home of your own free will, you will be voluntarily disrupting the family routine. This may make it difficult for your attorney to show the judge that you want to be close to your children. It may appear that you are perfectly fine with seeing your children less often, and you may end up with child custody arrangements that are less than favorable.

The divorce courts examine many factors in determining child custody arrangements, but moving out can certainly make an impact on the outcome of your case.

Before you move out, we recommend that you learn more about your options in the divorce proceedings, and how they can affect your settlement. In Ogden, Utah, the Burton Law Group focuses exclusively on matters of family law and divorce.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation. We can provide guidance and recommendations on how to achieve the most favorable outcome in your pursuit of equitable child custody arrangements.

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