Going through a separation can be difficult, and when there are children involved, it often becomes even more difficult. Before you separate, there are some things you should know that could have an impact on custody arrangements when the separation or divorce is final.
Be Careful About Leaving the Home
If you leave the matrimonial home, you could prejudice your rights to obtaining custody of your kids. It’s illegal for you to take them with you unless the other parent has consented and/or you have a court order allowing you to pull them from the home. Leaving without them of your own free will could look as though you abandoned your children, which may not go well for you during custody proceedings.
Also keep in mind if you willfully leave, the other spouse could change the locks or otherwise prevent you from going back to pick up your belongings. You could have a hard time getting things back at all if the other spouse shows you abandoned everything when you left.
Keep Good Records
Whether you stay or leave, you should keep good records of everything that happens between you and your spouse, specifically if it relates to the wellbeing of your children. For example, if your spouse flies off the handle at you in front of the kids, you should make a record of when and why it happened. If you have physical injuries, you should have pictures of those. Of course, if anyone’s life is truly in danger, you should contact the police.
You May Owe Child Support
If you still feel it is in the best interest of everyone involved, you might leave the home. This could be because you feel your life is in danger, or you feel your spouse endangers your children only when you are around. If you leave, it’s possible the other spouse will ask for child support. Even if your divorce is not final, you could be required to pay it.
An Attorney Can Help You
Going through this stressful time could be made a little easier with the help of an attorney. Your lawyer can help you understand what you should and should not do to obtain a favorable outcome regarding custody. There is evidence that should be collected, and your attorney will help you know how to go about doing that, as well as put together a case to try for custody of your children. Contact a family lawyer, like a Coronavirus family lawyer in Arlington, Virginia, today for help getting started with your case.
Thank you to the experts at May Law, LLP for their input into family law and the Coronavirus.