Q: If I feel like I need to leave the home as a result of irreconcilable differences and my husband refuses
To leave or allow me in the bed, do I jeopardize custody if I let my kids stay in their home and return while he is at work to care for them? I want the least amount of disruption for the kids, but I don't want it to look as if I am abandoning them.
A: Unless domestic violence is an issue, DO NOT move out of the marital residence and leave your children with your spouse. Doing so will jeopardize your ability to be awarded custody. From the conduct you have described, your husband is a bully. Do you want to leave your children overnight with a bully or for a bully to be awarded custody? The only time you will not jeopardize custody is if domestic violence is an issue. I can guarantee if you do leave the residence in the evening with the intention of returning the next morning to care for the children after your husband goes to work, you will not be able to get back into the residence. You did not say how old your children are but if they are pre-school age, even if you can get back into the residence the next morning, I can also guarantee the children won’t be there. If you have some place to go every night, then you need to take the children with you. If domestic violence is an issue and you have no place to go, you may want to contact a battered women’s shelter. You can also obtain a Temporary Protective Order by going to the clerk’s office in the Superior Court of the county where you live. While it is commendable that you do not want to disrupt the lives of your children, their lives are going to be disrupted if you leave them every night and if you cannot return the next morning to care for them. My final piece of advice is to consult with an attorney before doing anything that might jeopardize your ability to be awarded custody of your children.
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