Should I Move Out Before I file Divorce?


When beginning a contested divorce or child custody dispute, you might feel a compelling desire to vacate the family home.  Married couples and unmarriedShould I Move Out Before I file Divorce Kania Law Office parents do not generally end their relationship because of effective communication and enjoyment of each other’s company.  Should I Move Out Before I file Divorce is the question Im asked all the time. Although unpleasant, there are important reasons to carefully consider any plan to move out of the family home.  Especially prior to the resolution of child custody issues.

A common scenario involves one parent moving out and leaving the children in the family home with the other parent.  This might appear to be the best way to diffuse animosity and make the situation easier on your children.  However, there are disadvantages to this approach, which makes it essential to seek legal advice.

Possible Impacts of Moving Out on Child Custody:

When leaving the family home, you are at the mercy of the other parent for access to your children.  Even if your spouse indicates you can spend time with your kids whenever you wish, this promise may be flimsy without formal orders.  Some parents go weeks or even months without seeing their children.  This is especially true if the parent who remains in the family home decides to be uncooperative. The question should I Move Out Before I file Divorce may limit your child visitation. This may be true but once we get to court that ends. This is because the Judge will look poorly at one parent blocking access to the children.

How Long It Takes To Get a Child Custody Order:

An experienced Oklahoma child custody attorney can file for a motion.  This may obtain formal orders granting you custodial time with your kids.  Typically there will be a delay before you actually get into the courtroom and obtain formal child custody orders.  If you drag your feet about obtaining legal representation, this can seriously harm your position in a custody dispute.  The other parent will be effectively acting like the “de facto” caretaker for your kids.  Judges often tend to minimize radical change from the status quo.  Thus, failing to take action can provide a significant advantage to the other parent in a custody dispute.

Other Custody Issues When You Move Out:

Another significant issue when a parent moves out of the family home during a custody case involves the impact of parental alienation.  Disparaging comments made by one parent about the other in the presence of kids occurs. Oklahoma family law courts view this negatively.  If the other parent is intent on engaging in a pattern of alienation that makes your children feel uncomfortable or fearful about spending time with you, a judge may be hesitant about awarding substantial custody to the alienating parent.  While the practice of engaging in a pattern of parental alienation is viewed negatively by judges in child custody cases, the judge must act cautiously when the kids are in fact experiencing discomfort in the presence of a parent who has left the family home.

The decision to move out of the family residence also can weaken your position in a custody dispute because the other parent has a better chance of being awarded the family residence.  Kids face an enormous amount of change during a marital dissolution, so judges often struggle to find ways to preserve stability.  Once you vacate the family residence, a judge is unlikely to force the other parent to move out.  There are benefits to the kids remaining in their family home.  These include uninterrupted access to their school, neighborhood activities and friends.  While far from being the only factor that a family law judge will consider, the continuity associated with not being forced to move certainly can play an important role in an Oklahoma child custody case.

Should I Move Out Before I file Divorce Depends on The Facts:

If part of a divorce or paternity action, our Oklahoma family attorneys invite you to contact us. We’ll provide advice and guidance regarding your custody case.  Should I Move Out Before I file Divorce is a common question and we can help you with it. Our Oklahoma child custody attorneys offer a free initial consultation.  Here we can answer your questions, evaluate your needs and explain your options.

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