You may have contemplated not filing for divorce because you did not want to disrupt your children’s lives. As a parent, you think of their needs first, and you do not want to do anything that will bring them any type of pain or upset. Of course, if you and their other parent no longer get along, it may be best for everyone for you to go your separate ways.
You may have been the one to move out of the marital home while the divorce is pending. Because you needed a place on short notice, you may not have been too picky about your living arrangements. After all, you plan for them to be only temporary. However, you may want to keep in mind that your living accommodations could have an effect on child custody.
How can your home influence custody?
If you and the other parent do not come to custody terms on your own, the Arizona court will have to decide the arrangements. As a result, they will look at various aspects of your life to determine what would be best for the children. Some issues that could come up in regard to your living space and child custody include the following:
- Number of kids: If you currently live in a one-bedroom apartment but have three children, the court may not look favorably on that arrangement. Children need space to sleep, play and generally live.
- Child’s adjustment: If your kids had large rooms and a big yard to play in, the court may look at whether the children can adequately adjust to living in a smaller space.
- Your children’s ages: If you have an older teen, he or she may need more space and privacy than a younger child, and the court may not think it is a good arrangement if your older child and a younger child have to share a room.
Still, the court will also take your specific circumstances into account. Not every parent can afford a home where each child has his or her own room, and the court understands that. However, you may still need to put your best foot forward in presenting your case to the court as to why the custody arrangements you want would be best for the kids. Explaining your temporary living situation and providing evidence of looking for a new home could be helpful.