Is one party leaving the home with or without the children considered “abandonment”? The answer is generally ‘No’. Necessarily in a divorce the parties will inevitably at some point live apart. That physical separation must start sometime. There is no automatic “abandonment” concept that will be detrimental to any ultimate physical custody schedule. Leaving the home is not abandonment but staying away from children for long periods of time may reduce the chances of being a primary physical custodian. Practical concerns moving out of the home involve the payment of the mortgage, utilities, and the preservation of personal property within the home. It is conservative to presume that once someone leaves the home, they will have great difficulty getting back in or retrieving all of their personal property to their satisfaction.