Leaving The Home With Children Pending The Finalization Of A Divorce
There are many reasons a spouse may decide to leave the marital home either before or after the divorce process has begun. In some cases, the decision to leave is a life or death decision because of domestic abuse and the spouse makes a decision to leave with very few assets. If the spouses have children, the spouse who is leaving needs to consider leaving with the children.
A parent who leaves the children behind when leaving the family home can negatively affect his or her chances of receiving majority time sharing when those issues are decided later on. Especially if the parent leaves because of domestic abuse, but leaves the children behind, it may send a message to the court that the children are safe with the abuser.
While leaving the children behind may affect chances of majority time sharing, it will not cut off all time sharing. A judge will still look at all the statutory factors in order to determine how much time sharing each parent will be awarded. A judge will likely prefer to keep the children in their home and school in order to minimize the disruption to the children’s lives.
Before a court enters an order in which parent has majority time sharing, both parents have equal rights to keep the children. If one parent takes the children and disappears without a court order in place, the other parent can seek temporary majority time sharing and allege the other parent is withholding the children. This can look bad for the parent who leaves with the children. Therefore, when a parent leaves with the children, it is important to ensure that the parent follows up with filing for temporary majority time sharing of the children.
If neither parent is physically, emotionally, or mentally abusive to the children, a court awarding one parent temporary majority time sharing will also award the other parent some access or time sharing with the children. Temporary orders that are entered after one parent petitions a court are reviewed shortly after they are granted. The court may leave the order in place, or modify it to give the other parent more time.
Parents who are communicating well can also agree to allow one parent to leave the primary home with the children and move to another location. This relocation by agreement has to give express permission and agree to the times the other parent will have access to the children during the time the parent is apart from the children. The parents can agree to any special terms that will apply to the time sharing agreement, such as supervision, meeting places for exchanges or drop off locations, and which parent will be responsible for transportation if the children are moved substantially far away from their prior home.
Contact an Experienced Family Law Attorney
For more information on how you can leave an unsafe or uncomfortable marital home with your children without affecting your chances of getting majority time sharing later on, contact our experienced child time sharing lawyers at the Law Offices of Schwartz | White in Boca Raton, Florida.