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Will Moving Out of the Home Hurt Your Chances of Getting Custody Later?

Time and time again, we’ve said that divorce is a very sensitive undertaking. The slightest act can harm a divorce case and affect a parent’s chances of getting custody of their children. So there’s a lot of uncertainty around whether or not a seemingly harmless action can affect the results of a divorce case.

Divorcing partners would know that it can be difficult to coexist with their ex in the same household while their divorce case is pending. So many opt to move out and live separately, leaving their kids behind with their exes. 

Unfortunately, due to the sensitive nature of a divorce case, moving out can negatively impact a parent’s chances of obtaining custody. 

Things to Consider Before Moving Out

Before a parent decides to move out amid a divorce, there are several things that they need to consider. 

  1. Parenting time with your kids

Courts are highly protective of children who are involved in a divorce. They want to make sure that the kids are protected and in good shape. If a parent moves out and does not have regular parenting time with their kids, the courts will not see this favorably. Hence, it can put the leaving parent in a negative light during custody hearings. 

If moving out is really the best choice, the parent must make sure that they spend ample, regular, and consistent time with their kids. But this also poses a problem if the ex spouse who lives with the children is unwilling to share parenting time voluntarily. 

If that’s the case, the leaving spouse would have to get a court order for equal parenting time. And it can be a while before this is processed and granted. That waiting time when the leaving spouse is not spending time with their kids can harm his or her chances of getting custody. 

  1. The place where the leaving spouse chooses to move to

Another factor to consider is the location the leaving spouse moves to. Some important considerations are:

  • How far it is from the home that they’re leaving
  • Does it have enough bedrooms for the kids based upon their ages and genders?
  • Does it have furniture?
  • Is the house in a safe neighborhood?

These are things that the court will take into consideration when deciding if the leaving spouse can get custody of the children. The ex-spouse will likely object to factors about the new house, arguing that it would not be an ideal place for the children to live. And these are things the court does not take lightly. Remember, the courts are after the child’s best interest. 

How to Protect the Chances of Getting Custody

The leaving spouse needs to make sure that he or she has a plan before moving out — either to get an order from the court, or agree on parenting time with their ex. They also have to make sure that they’re moving to a place where they can safely and comfortably accommodate their kids. 

These are the necessary precautions that a leaving spouse needs to take before moving out so that they don’t end up harming their chances of getting custody. 

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Stephanie
Randall

Managing Partner

Colorado Springs

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