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How to make sure you get to keep custody of your children during the divorce

I am often asked, “How can I make sure I will get to keep the children during the divorce proceedings?”

You cannot ensure that your children will stay with you during the divorce process. However, the best way to provide clarity about the living arrangements and respective parenting time with your children during your divorce is to obtain a court order detailing who the children are to be with on which days. If you decide to informally switch weekends, make sure that you have that agreement in writing.  Informal oral agreements between parties cannot always be trusted. Additionally, informal agreements with your spouse lack the ability to be enforced by the court. Thus, even if you and your spouse have agreed to temporary arrangements, talk with your attorney about whether this agreement should be formalized in a court order.

Obtaining a court order can be an important protection not only for the custody of your children, but also for other issues such as support, exclusive possession of the marital home, protection from your spouse, or protection against the other party disposing of assets.

Until a court order is entered, it’s best that you continue to reside with your children. If you are considering leaving your home, talk with your attorney before making any significant changes to your living situation. If you must leave your home, take your children with you and talk with your attorney at your earliest opportunity.

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