Moving out during a separation comes as a relief to many. While many separations eventually lead to divorce, the brief or not so brief respite of the separation period can give you time to think about and plan for the major challenges ahead, such as raising a child together. You will have to make important decisions about where your child will live and when you will spend time with him or her. Unfortunately, these are the issues parents most frequently fight over. And when parents can’t agree on their own or in mediation, the judge will have to make these very important decisions.
You may think moving out can only improve everyone’s life, sparing your children from a potentially hostile environment and giving you and your spouse room to think. But living separately before you get a divorce can influence custody. If you want custody of your child, think twice before leaving the family home during a separation.
When making a decision on custody, the judge will consider each parent’s involvement in the child’s life prior to the divorce. If you moved out and were separated for a year before you filed for divorce, for example, you likely were limited in when and where you could spend time with your child. You may have lost touch with his or her daily routine, and your bond with your child could have suffered as a result. In light of these circumstances, a judge may decide to award custody to the parent who cared for the child during those difficult times, stayed involved, and who maintained a strong bond with the child.
Consult with an experienced New Jersey child custody attorney if you are separated and have concerns about custody. Your conduct during the separation period can affect the outcome of your divorce if you choose to take that route. It’s important to shelter your child from the custody dispute, but you also need to spend quality time with your child, stay involved in his or her life, and communicate and cooperate with the other parent on these matters. An attorney can advise you of your rights and help you get a custody and parenting time order in place that will protect your rights during your separation.
Do you have questions about separation and custody? If so, Williams Law Group, LLC can help. Our skilled attorneys can advise you of your rights and what you can do to increase your chance of getting custody. Located in Union, New Jersey, Williams Law Group, LLC provides compassionate and dedicated legal services to Union, Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Monmouth, and Middlesex counties, and the surrounding areas. Our knowledgeable attorneys handle divorce and family law, child custody, and child abuse/neglect cases. Call our office at (908) 810-1083, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact us through our confidential online form to schedule a consultation and ultimately get you connected with an experienced New Jersey divorce and child custody attorney.