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Should dads stay in the house during divorce?

You're a father of two young kids. You and your spouse have decided to get divorced. Is it time to move out and get an apartment while the legal process plays out? It can take months. Since the relationship is already over, doesn't moving out make the most sense?

That's what a lot of fathers assume, but some experts warn against it. They note that moving out can put fathers at a disadvantage if they wind up in court trying to get custody of their kids.

The court could look at the situation and see that the mother has been taking care of the kids and living with them for the last four months. Why not just let that continue and give her custody? It's easiest, fastest, and requires the least change for the kids.

Plus, the court may ask, if you're so adamant that you want custody now, why did you leave the kids before? Didn't you want to help raise them then, too? If Mom and the kids were doing well with you off on your own, wouldn't they do just as well if that continued?

That's not to say that you can't win your case. It's just that moving out shows the court a few things about the relationship you have with the kids, and it may make it harder for you to win. In a divorce, the last thing you want to do is make things harder, even if that means gritting your teeth and staying in the same home as your soon-to-be ex.

Whether you move out or not, it's very important to know your legal options when fighting for custody rights.

Source: The Spruce, "Ten Tips for Fathers in Surviving the Divorce Process," Wayne Parker, accessed Dec. 21, 2017

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