Will Moving Out Impact Child Custody?

When a married couple decides to divorce, one of the first questions will be, “Should one of us move out of the family home?” If the marriage has broken down due to a recent affair, or because the constant arguing has become unbearable, emotions can run high, and living under one roof may seem impossible.

This question of moving cannot be taken lightly, especially if you’re thinking about moving out and leaving your kids behind. That is, if you want to pursue custody in the future.

If you’re getting a divorce, you may be considering moving out and wondering if it makes a difference if you do it before, during, or after the divorce. It depends. If you believe that child custody will be a contested issue during your divorce proceeding, you may want to think twice before you move out.

Setting a Legal Precedent

In a legal sense, you are setting a “legal precedent,” which means a guide, which a judge will refer to later on. If you move out and the new living arrangements are working just fine, a judge may not want to disrupt the children’s lives.

Your spouse who stayed in the house could argue that a move would cause too much disruption, so things are better staying the way they are. Also, by moving out and leaving the children behind, you are sending a message to the judge that your spouse is fit to care for your children.

If you feel that you must leave the family home and you want to be the primary physical custodian, you should bring the children along with you. Then, you should immediately go to family court and ask for temporary custody and child support.

If you fail to promptly seek the court’s assistance, your spouse can allege that you took the children without his or her consent. Family law judges frown upon parents who remove children from their homes without seeking the court’s acknowledgement.

If you fail to notify the court in a timely manner, it can backfire on you. The judge could order that you return the children to the family home pending the child custody proceedings.

If You or the Children are Being Abused

If you or your children are being abused, seek help immediately. Contact our firm for legal advice and contact the local police department. Domestic violence charges can have a major impact on a divorce case, and most police departments are prepared to assist in these situations. You must become fully informed of how to protect yourself and your children in the event of abuse.

Contact Jones Law Firm, PC today to request a free consultation !


The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

Our team includes attorneys licensed to practice in multiple states including April D. Jones in California, Patrick G. Barkman in Texas, the Cherokee Nation, the Northern District of Texas, and the District of Colorado (United States Court of Appeals 10th and 5th Circuit).