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Do I need to be legally separated before moving out with the kids?

December 28, 2016 Blog

If you and your spouse are about to get a divorce, you’re probably looking to start your new life as soon as possible. Depending on surrounding circumstances, that may mean moving out of the home before you are legally separated and taking the children with you.

Unfortunately, this can cause some problems through the marriage process. If you are not yet legally separated and custody has not been determined between you and your spouse, you may get into trouble if you try to move out with your kids.

To help protect you and your children from negative consequences associated with moving out prematurely, here are a few things you will need to know.

The Importance of Legal Separation

When you have not made any moves to end your marriage, both you and your spouse still have rights as parents to spend time with your children. This means that one party cannot just decide to move out and bring the children with them because the marriage is not able to be repaired.

Having a legal separation in place means that the law recognizes that you and your spouse no longer wish to continue your marriage and that divorce will probably come later down the road. Under a legal separation, you and your spouse will need to establish custody. If child support is needed, a legal separation can also help put this in place. Without a proper legal separation, you are likely to experience a real headache arguing with your spouse over needs and expectations.

When you choose to have a legal separation before the divorce process begins, you and your spouse can have the protection of the law on your side when making decisions and living life away from one another. By getting the separation legally recognized, you will know your limitations and your rights in moving out.

The only exception to moving out with your children before the divorce is finalized is if there is domestic abuse at home. If your spouse is a threat to the safety of your children, you are able to make the best decision for you and your children and move out of the home. However, if you choose to go on this path, you should speak with an attorney as soon as possible.

Your Children Have Rights Too

When going through the divorce process, you may feel like your children should be on your side. However, the emotions you feel for your spouse are not always felt in the children as well. If you move out of your home and bring your children with you, you’re taking away their right to see their other parent.

If you’re considering moving out and bringing the children with you, be sure to speak with them about their needs and wants before you make any decisions. This is especially true if you’re planning on going over state lines.

Choosing to move out and bringing your children along without any consideration for your children’s rights or the law can cause serious consequences down the line. This decision can make you appear flighty, unwilling to compromise, and like you do not have any consideration for the legal procedures. This can hurt your chances of getting custody in the divorce process.

Depending on the state that you live in, a legal separation may be necessary before you are able to file for divorce. The sooner you begin the process of becoming legally separated, the sooner you will be able to successfully divorce from your spouse.

While you may feel like you don’t want to get the court and attorneys involved in your separation, it is almost always necessary. By having some legal backing to your decisions, you and your children will be protected and you will not need to worry about how your actions will appear to the divorce court.

For assistance becoming legally separated, divorce, or just understanding your rights, contact an expert divorce attorney today. Because your emotions may be fueling you in this difficult time, have the assistance of a professional to ensure your choices and decisions are within your legal rights.



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