If I have moved away from the house where the other parent and children currently live, will this hurt my chances of gaining custody?
Maybe. A judge will probably consider which parent has been taking care of the children since you moved out as an important factor when making a custody decision. Leaving the house where the children and the other parent currently live may cause the judge to favor leaving your children with the other parent.
However, a judge may also consider the reason why you left. For example, if you left to be safe from harm and felt that you couldn’t safely take the children, being able to prove the abuse may become critical to getting custody. Other reasons may not be received as well by the courts. A court may also view leaving as evidence that you are putting other priorities before your children. It is hard to predict how a judge will view this situation in a particular case -- these are just some possible ways it may be interpreted. If this is your situation, we recommend getting advice and representation from an attorney. Go to our OK Finding a Lawyer page for legal referrals.