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Can you take the kids if you leave before finalizing custody?

Floridian parents like you who feel you have good reason to get out of your house as soon as possible are put in a tricky situation. Do you take the kids with you? Do you leave them and move out yourself? Or do you sit through the divorce process, sharing a home with a potentially harmful or abusive person?

Each of these scenarios has different pros and cons, as shown by FindLaw. They examine what you should do if you want to leave your home before a custody arrangement has been made official. In the case of leaving the home without the children, this would allow you to escape the situation. However, it could also leave the judge of your case with certain opinions about your suitability for being the primary carer, as you "left" the children behind.

Taking the children with you can allow you to escape the situation, in addition to the action potentially being interpreted by a judge as taking steps to protect your kids. However, if you aren't quick about seeking out a judge after leaving, this can backfire on you. Your ex-spouse may use the situation to make it look like you unlawfully took the kids and left.

Finally, staying at home can help you avoid these issues, but can come at the cost of your personal comfort or even safety depending on the situation you face. Talking to an attorney about the differences in these options and learning more about how the law can affect you may help you make your final decision.

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