When you’re in the throes of marital arguments and disagreement — and when you’ve decided to get a divorce — the first thing you’ll want to have is your own space. You may already be shopping for an apartment or a new house to purchase. In most situations, it’s probably a good idea to move out as soon as possible, but if you have children with your soon-to-be ex, think again.

It’s a very big mistake to move out of your home before you’ve filed for divorce and obtained temporary child custody arrangements. Usually, the spouse who moves out without the children will be at a disadvantage when it comes to any child custody disagreements.

What happens if you move out without your kids?

Leaving the family home without your children will negatively affect your ability to receive child custody in most situations. Of course, if your life or safety is in jeopardy, this is a different circumstance, and in this case, you should discuss the matter with authorities. Also, if your safety is in jeopardy, you may want to bring your children with you, but you will need to get permission from the court as soon as possible so that it’s clear you were not “abducting” your children without just cause and you could have your children permanently taken away from you.

As for spouses who leave their home under normal circumstances, Maryland family court judges will usually interpret this as the parent’s lack of commitment to his or her children. Also, in an effort not to disrupt the status quo of the children, judges will be more inclined to award custody to the parent with whom the children continue to live.

Are you concerned about your current living arrangements?

It’s vital that you feel emotionally comfortable in your home. As such, if you’re in the process of getting a divorce, you will want to obtain temporary child custody arrangements as soon as possible so that you and your ex-spouse can go your separate ways and set up your individual homes apart from one another. Remember that temporary child custody arrangements usually serve as the basis for permanent ones, so make sure you choose your temporary arrangements carefully.