Where will the children live during the divorce? This is a complicated question because the Court will consider several factors when deciding where the children should live during Temporary Orders. A Texas Court will always consider the best interest of the child. In order to understand other factors considered, we must delve a bit deeper into what is “best” for the child.
When you think about the concept, it is a tad difficult to grasp since what is best for the child could differ in opinions. Mom may believe that it is best that the child stays in his existing middle school since the academics of the school are superior to most others. On the other hand, Dad may truly believe that their child’s best shot in life is to play professional football.
Minimal disruption to the children is a typical goal of a Texas court. In other words, if the children have been living in the home for a substantial amount of time and/or have a routine and/or any other substantial connection to the home, a Court will consider if it would be best that the child stay in that current home or be required to move.
Once the Court decides or the parties agree on which parent will be the one with the exclusive right to designate the child’s residence for Temporary Orders, this will be considered as well. It is likely that the Court will deem it more beneficial that the child are allowed to stay in the home for which he/or she has been living prior to the filing for divorce. This will likely cause the least amount of disruption to the daily routine of the child and shield him or her from the effects of the divorce as much as possible.
Considering the least amount of disruption, being the caretaker for the children can be the key to the house in most cases - the party that has been caring for the child will typically be granted the exclusive use of the home while the divorce is pending, even if that means that the Court needs to Order the other party to pay costs associated with the home. It is important to know that this does not mean that the caretaker being mom or dad will be granted permanent possession of the home in the divorce if it is not sold.
In special cases where there is a finding of domestic violence or another special circumstance however, the Court may order the caretaker of the children to move out of the home and relocate to another suitable residence of that party’s choosing - sometimes on the dime of the other party.
If you are filing for divorce, speak to an attorney right away. An experienced divorce attorney will be able to provide you with a range of possible outcomes in regards to your temporary orders, child custody and more.