I filed for divorce recently. I have asked for joint custody. Can he say I abandon the kids if I leave the state for a month?

Asked about 2 years ago - San Jose, CA

I am planning to move out next week. My husband will be served with the divorce papers the day I leave. I have no job and a sick male friend (only a friend) offered to let me stay with him for a month or two, but he lives out of state. My husband says that that is abandonment. My plan which I discussed with my kids who are 11 and 15, and tried to discuss with my husband, is to stay with that friend, help the friend pack up, look for an apartment where my kids live and be room mates with the friend so I can look for a job and help support my kids. I have been a stay at home mom and housewife for the last 11 years. Please help. I don't want to lose my kids.

Attorney answers (3)

  1. 2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I would not recommend leaving the state during this stage of your divorce proceedings. Not only will it likely emotionally affect your children, it is not the wisest move legally speaking.

    The solution to your problem about finances is to file what is called a Request for Orders for child support and spousal support (or alimony), and attorney's fees so that you can retain competent legal counsel to assist you through this process.

    If you have been a stay at home mom and housewife for the last 11 years, that is a very good fact in your favor--not only does that tell me that you likely have what is known as a "long term marriage" but that means that you were also likely the primary caretaker for the children.

    Since child support is largely a function of the amount of time each parent spends with the children as well as the relative income of the parties, these are also good facts in your favor.

    It seems to me that you need to begin educating yourself about the process, and most definitely speak to an experienced family law attorney who can guide you through the process to ensure you don't make an "mistakes" such as moving out of state (even temporarily)! :)

    I have included links below which addresses some of the common questions and answers which often come up in divorce proceedings. Good luck.

    If you found this answer helpful, let me know by clicking the "Mark as Helpful" button or "Best Answer" at the... more
  2. 1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . While it is certainly not "abandonment" if you follow through with your plan, it will leave the kids in their father's custody. Getting them to move out of state after the fact may prove to be more difficult that it is worth.

    You should consider finding a different roommate candidate, one who is in the area. Then you have have joint custody, instead of leaving the children solely with their dad. You can also file a Request for Orders seeking child and spousal support -- and some help with legal fees, to boot.

    The opening moves in a divorce often set the tone for the case that follows. Make sure that you have a plan and get some specific, personalized legal advice from an experienced, local Family Law attorney before committing to what could turn out to be a mistake of a plan.

    Legal disclaimer: The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to... more
  3. 1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . I really believe it would be far preferable if you filed a motion for temporary child and spousal support and a request for permission to move with the children and get the court approval first. If you move, then go back a month later, you may not get into court for several months and after the long passage of time, the court will probably not want the children to be uprooted from their present school and also friends, local activities, and present status of life. I believe you need to rethink your approach, otherwise, what you don’t want to happen may be out of your control at that point in time.

    This participating Attorney does not warrant any information provided, nor are we creating an Attorney-Client... more

Related Topics


Divorce is the process of formally ending a marriage. Divorces may be jointly agreed upon, resolved by negotiation, or decided in court.

Child custody

Child custody involves decisions about who will be responsible for a child, including parental rights, for both married and unmarried parents, and adoptions.

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