Maryland family laws seek to protect your children from the instability that can result from a family breakup. In fact, the court will do everything it can to make sure its decisions support the best interest of your children first and foremost during the proceedings.

In its attempt to ensure the children are best taken care of, a family court will usually give preference to the “primary caretaker” of the children. In this respect, it’s a very poor decision for a spouse to move out of the house before a temporary child custody plan is in place.

Staying in the home shows your commitment to your kids

Regardless of whether you’re the mother or the father of your children, a toxic home environment could lead you to impulsively pack your bags and move out of your family home. It would be a very big mistake to leave your home.If you leave your home without your kids — before you have obtained a court-approved, temporary child custody plan — a court may interpret this as abandoning your children. It would be an even bigger mistake to leave your home with your children because this action could be construed as parental child abduction. Parents convicted of parental child abduction could be sentenced to jail and lose all rights to visit with and spend time with their children.

You and your children will benefit by staying put

If you’re a parent facing divorce, the safest course of action is to stay put. Set up a temporary bedroom in the office if necessary. Staying in your home is the best way to preserve your rights as a parent because it will show the court that you are dedicated and committed to your children first.

By staying active and busy during this period — perhaps by taking your children on fun outings during the weekends and evenings with just you — you’ll keep a clear head and a clear perspective. It won’t take too long to get your temporary custody plan and then you can safely separate from your spouse to a new living situation.

Do you have a child custody concern?

Maryland parents who educate themselves on state child custody laws will stand a better chance of successfully navigating their divorces and child custody proceedings. Don’t take action regarding your divorce until you fully understand your legal rights and options.