As A Stay-At-Home Parent, Should I Tell My Spouse Before Filing For A Divorce?
There are some circumstances where preparing the other side emotionally for a divorce can be helpful. Unfortunately, that is the exception and not the rule. Generally speaking, telling your partner beforehand of a divorce or custody petition being filed is not advisable in my opinion. This is because your spouse could take legal action more quickly than you, putting you on the defensive and giving you less time to prepare. It takes time to gather evidence to maximize the advantages available to you prior to filing a petition. Unless there is a significantly good reason to do so, you should not give up this strategic advantage. If there has been domestic violence, one should not risk your partner rushing to the courthouse to get a protective order or other emergency order against you first.
As A Stay-At-Home Parent, Should I Tell My Children Before Filing For A Divorce?
The circumstances of your case will be unique and there may be times where telling the children prior to filing for divorce is appropriate. However, generally speaking, telling the children will result in the children telling the spouse. This will create all of the disadvantages referenced above in the previous question. Also, your spouse may begin interrogating the children, pumping them for information, trying to get them to state a preference about who they wish to live with, and other such behavior that would be harmful to the children.
As A Stay-At-Home Parent, Can I Take My Children With Me Before Filing For A Divorce?
Either parent may take the children. They are parents, after all. It is a delicate balancing act to determine whether to withhold the children from the other side between the time of separation and the time when temporary court orders are in place Legally, either party may take the children and withhold them from the other side. Whether to do so or to try to reach a temporary agreement about custody and parenting time are very fact-sensitive and can have profound implications on the course one’s case will take. This should be discussed with an attorney in advance, if at all possible.
There are some circumstances under which taking the children and keeping them from other side is in their best interests until an agreement can be reached. There are other times where that would be inappropriate. If this has been a traditional household with a primary caretaker and the other side has not been a very actively involved parent, the primary caretaker could be giving away a significant advantage by offering him fifty-fifty or sixty-forty parenting time at separation. Consult with an attorney about how much time should be allowed between the time of separation and further order of the court.
As A Stay-At-Home Parent, Should I Be Prepared To Move Out With My Children, If I Think My Spouse Will Refuse To Leave Once I File For Divorce?
Whether you leave or not depends upon the specific circumstances of your case, including whether you wish to keep possession of the marital home and how important keeping that home is for the children’s stability. If the children are not well-integrated into the neighborhood with friends, schools, and activities and one does not desire to keep the marital home, then moving out with the children may not be a problem. If the stay-at-home parent is at risk of domestic violence or if the children are at risk, leaving the home may be the only option, if there isn’t time to obtain a protective order.
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