Dads: Don’t leave the family home without a custody order

On Behalf of | May 12, 2024 | Child Custody |

When your marriage has fallen apart, it’s only natural to want to put some distance between you and your spouse – but fathers need to consider every move they make very carefully. Surprising things can have a great deal of impact on family court decisions, especially when it comes to custody of the children. 

That’s why it is usually wisest to stay in the family home, no matter how uncomfortable the interactions with your spouse, until you have a temporary custody order in place.

Why does that matter?

A divorce can take months (and sometimes more than a year) to finalize, especially when there are disputed issues that have to be settled. While every situation is unique, here is why caution is needed:

  • Custody: Courts may consider the status quo when determining custody. If you move out without a temporary custody plan that awards fair parenting time, that could be perceived as a voluntary relinquishment of your primary caregiving responsibilities, potentially affecting your custody rights in the future. 
  • Optics: Remaining in the family home allows you to continue your daily involvement in your children’s lives and makes it harder for you to be painted as a neglectful or disinterested parent. 
  • Strategy: Staying in the family home also strengthens your position during negotiations or court proceedings with your spouse. Your presence, despite the adversity of the situation, shows that you’re committed to your children’s well-being and want to be a source of stability and support.

In short, there are still a lot of stereotypes and biases that assume mothers are the primary caregivers in every family. You don’t want to do anything that can reinforce these biases or disadvantage you in your custody proceedings. Seeking more information that’s specific to your situation can help you make an informed decision before you move out.