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Your Kids Need their Own Room at Your Place by Fred Campos

Your Kids Need Their Own Room at Your Place

Social studies case workers will evaluate your location. Your kids need to have their own room, bed, toothbrush, clothes. If the status quo is you vegetating in front of the TV with your hand down your pants while your kids play with your gun collection, you’re not going to display this attitude to case workers. They know this, and they’re on the lookout for Dads putting on a game face for company.

Kids Need their Own Room at Your Place, Dads!

The kids’ stuff shouldn’t be able to fit easily into a backpack, or even into a nice set of luggage. Their room needs to be decorated, pictures on the wall, games and books, stuff to do; it needs to look like a room your kids live in permanently, not just a place they kill some time before returning to their real home, not just four walls with a bed in it.

This is next to impossible to do if you only have a one-bedroom and you or the kids are sleeping on the couch. Not favorable to a one bedroom where the kids or you are sleeping on the couch.

The room as well as the house/apartment need to look like you are the custodial parent and you could function without help from the other side. Make it look like maybe the child is packing up their own stuff when they go visit your Ex.

Expecting the court to grant Dad custody under these circumstances is like expecting the inheritance to go to the prodigal son; yes, everyone’s happy and maybe a little surprised the prodigal son made good, but he gets a pat on the back and fatted calf, not the family farm.

Where do your kids sleep? Do your kids have their own stuff at your place? What would you add to this post?

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Fred Campos, Top Geek, blogs about everything from House of Cards to Subway. In addition to blogging, he is a public speaker and humorist in child custody, social media, web development and parenting. He is married to one @SuperParentMom, and raising three world changers. For more details on his custody course visit, Like this post? Make sure you subscribe to this blog.

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  • X January 14, 2010, 11:53 am

    I noticed the picture of the mother above the frame. You mentioned this in class. Nice touch.

    Re: “Name (required)” Hm. Google search-able. Careful with that. Lawyers nationwide recently had a convention in Dallas to learn about ways to use the opposition’s internet presence against them.

  • FullCustodyDad January 14, 2010, 2:21 pm

    Good point X. Yes parents always have a photo of the Ex in your kids room. It shows no animosity and it’s good for your kids. Feel free if need too to comment without leaving your full name.

  • Craig Atkinson June 22, 2014, 5:28 am

    Thankfulness to my father who informed me regarding this website, this blog is actually remarkable.

    • FullCustodyDad June 22, 2014, 7:00 am

      Thanks Craig, we try hard to provide useful information. Looks like you are doing good DWI work there in Boise. If your firm specializes in father divorce cases, let’s talk offline.

  • Darrel Doehr September 12, 2015, 10:12 pm

    Sharing my experience. When I divorced, the woman from child services in family court (California) said outright I had to have a residence with a 2nd bedroom for my daughter in order to receive overnight visits. I rented a 2 bedroom mobile home and they had no trouble granting me overnight visitation. My daughter adjusted well to going back and forth. Eventually when she turned about 16 she moved in with me full time and her mother was ok with it. Today she’s away at college and has a healthy attitude about family as far as I can tell.

    • FullCustodyDad September 14, 2015, 12:05 am


      excellent point and thanks for sharing! Glad everything worked out for you. I tend to agree with child services. Kids need their own room. :)

  • Melissa Marquis January 14, 2016, 9:36 am

    I am not sure if this is where I ask this question. But in Georgia by there standers. Does a Child have to have their own bedroom if they are visiting for a couple days or a week in a different state? Anything helps please

  • Lee Mallory February 1, 2017, 10:38 am

    My kids have their own room’s in my home. However, at their mothers home, mom, and kids share a one bedroom apartment. Both my kids are in high school. Why is it a must for the dad’s to have individual room’s for our kids, yet the mothers aren’t required by law SELAH.

    • FullCustodyDad February 1, 2017, 12:15 pm


      that is a fair question. Technically there is nothing specified on sleeping arrangements for kids (unless you are a foster parent, but that’s another story). Since most of my readers are non-custodial parents, you have to be 110% better than the other parent. Yes it is a double standard, but the goal is to be the better parent in a custody case.

  • Michelle September 28, 2017, 9:50 am

    My fiance and I are about to file for sole custody of my step kids. They had always lived with their dad until about a year ago. We finally found a three bedroom house to rent however one of the rooms will take some work. We need to file for custody asap, their mom said she would not fight us. The kids are 5 & 7, I am hoping the judge wont mind bub and sis sharing a room until we get sissys room ready. What do you think? I have heard boys and girls arent allowed to share a room? This is literally the only thing keeping us from filing the petition. We live in Kentucky. Any advice?

    • FullCustodyDad September 28, 2017, 1:33 pm


      Thanks for reaching out. Don’t wait, file.

      In Texas, where I live, the “suggestion” is that kids have their own room. It’s not a hard and fast rule. The ages of the children, the situation of the home, the family, and the culture all play a part in deciding.

      But…First and foremost, if mom’s not going to fight you, it is a complete non-issue.

      Second, the fact the kids are not teenagers and you have the ability to “get sissy’s room ready” in the future, shows good intent.

      If that is the only element holding you back, don’t let it. Move forward. Good luck, and let us know how it goes!

      Fred (@FullCustodyDad)

  • Laurina November 4, 2017, 12:18 am

    My daughters father and I have been split for 6+ years (since she was under 1 year). In that time he has jumped from couch to couch, relationship to relationship, living situation to living situation. He has lived on the couch at his cousins, sisters, multiple girlfriends, etc. When my daughter went to stay with him she slept on the couch as well (even when he was with his wife). My daughter and I relocated to Florida about a year ago (from NJ) and he followed about 4 months ago and moved in with his girlfriend of 3 months and her 4 children. Now my daughter is 7 and he is requesting overnights again. He said that she will be sleeping on a trundle bed in an open loft. One of the 4 children that he lives with is a girl that is only a year older than her. I told him that she needed some kind of privacy, even if it was sharing a room with his girlfriends daughter. But he said he does not want to make his girlfriends daughter uncomfortable in having my daughter share a room with her. The other 3 children are younger (12-3 year old) boys. Again, these are not even kids that she knows or has spent extended time with. Is it ridiculous of me that I require him to at very minimum have her share a room with the girlfriends daughter? And will court require this as well?

    • FullCustodyDad November 5, 2017, 2:41 pm


      great question, and let me first start by saying I totally and completely feel your pain. When my daughter was growing up my Ex too would move from place to place and bed to bed. My daughter frequently slept on couches, floors, with her mother, and other places I would never dream to expose my daughter too.

      If your Ex-was seeking primary custody, it would be absolutely in his best interest to see to it that your daughter have her own room, or share a reasonable living space that a judge or caseworker might consider “better than yours.” To my knowledge, there are no specific legal technical requirements for children sleeping arrangements anywhere, except for foster parents.

      However, from what I gather from your short story he is just seeking basic visitation with overnights. Under that situation, it is not ridiculous to “suggest” to your Ex better-living conditions for your daughter, as you have only her highest interest and parent to a different standard. However, it has been my experience and observation that the courts will not care one bit about the sleeping arrangements of your Ex or your daughter until the point that it becomes a physical, documentable and perhaps even repeatable danger to your daughter.

      Furthermore, some judges now see it parental alienation and “trying to parent to the other side” depending on how it is brought up in court. When I have interviewed judges over lunch, they see this squabbling subject as petty, petty.

      My suggestion would be to approach it from a very nice suggestion angle… “You know Jenny, she would probably feel a little more comfortable on your weekends providing her some private sleeping arrangement. You want the best for Jenny, don’t you? However, you’re a good dad I know you will do what is best for Jenny.”

      Hang in there. – FullCustodyDad

  • Saul November 28, 2017, 7:18 am

    Starting process to get joint custody of my 2 year old. The mom isn’t having it since she is wanting the large amount of child support she would receive if she was the primary. I care more about seeing my daughter 50/50 of the time. Any guidance on what to prepare in home would be great. Since she is 2, will she need her own room or does she require her own at that age. Please help.

    • FullCustodyDad November 28, 2017, 8:49 am


      I can SO relate to your situation. Technically, there are no requirements in the US for children to have their own room. However, if you are going for any additional time this is an absolute must. Remember you are fighting an uphill battle, so you must be an exceptional dad. Most states don’t even give standard visitation to a father until the child is 3. Take a few parenting classes, have a flexible work schedule, go to church, take a million pictures with your daughter, have some great witnesses that will vouch for your character and hire a really good lawyer (and study this blog).

      Good luck!

  • anonymous dad January 8, 2018, 11:46 pm

    I went through custody evaluation and was seeking 50.50 access. child doesn’t have own room but has her own space and bunk bed, desk, drawer, etc in my room. I did want to setup her own bedroom by renovations but didn’t get to it. the assessor asked if I would setup child’s own bed if 50.50 granted I said yes and talked about how having her own room was a good thing. I did not get a recommendation for 50.50 in end but got a mid week overnight every week and Sunday over night on top of Friday and Saturday overnight alternate weekends. is the bedroom thing that big of a deal and possibly something that persuaded the assessors decision to not grant me 50.50?

    • FullCustodyDad January 9, 2018, 9:54 am


      I don’t have all the facts, ages of your kids and the state and county you live it, but my short answer is maybe yes.

      If you were seeking primary custody your kids absolutely need, should have their own room. Second, in my opinion and a social norm, fathers probably should not share a room with daughters, nor mothers with sons. While technically social workers should not judge these types of sleeping arrangements, we all fall prey to social norms.

      Finally intent doesn’t count. What I will do if… is something that social workers are not fond of. They only based judgement on where you are now, not what you will or could do.

      Hope this helps, thanks for the comment.

  • Natalie April 3, 2018, 4:37 pm

    My ex and I have been divorced for a year now. We have three children – 17 year old son, 10 year old son, and 4 year old daughter. He is living in a one-bedroom apartment. Only our two younger children spend any time over there (the teen chooses not to go for several reasons that I honestly can’t argue with him on – very valid). When the children go (one night a week and every other weekend Friday – Monday am), they sleep on the sofa. I recently found out that my ex’s girlfriend moved into the apartment too. My ten year old has complained to me several times about not having a bed or any private room he can go to during the weekend visits. He never gets any space from his little sister. They don’t have any toys over there – they were told there is nowhere to keep them. Seems like an awful small space for that many people. Is there any requirement that he provide at the minimum a bedroom for the children? And would they need their own bedrooms given that they are 6 years apart and different sexes? I have tried to stay out of it, but I am seeing a change in my son that is concerning me and this is the only complaint he has had recently. We live in Texas.

    Thank you

    • FullCustodyDad April 3, 2018, 7:10 pm


      totally hear ya, agree with ya and feel your pain. In regards to parents seeking custody of the courts, I always recommend that kids have their own room, as it helps them favorably in “gaining custody.” However, I get asked a lot if there are any minimum requirements for bedrooms, and beds, for raising children. While there are current recommendations for foster children and even those seeking adoption, there are no written standards in Texas for the minimum sleeping arrangement for children.

      Furthermore, as crazy as it sounds, most judges don’t have strong opinions on children sleeping arrangements until it falls under abuse. “Adequate” sleeping is relative to the situation and sleeping on a couch or with your biological sister is considered acceptable.

  • Alma Umana June 25, 2018, 10:58 am

    Hey there! Reaching out from Maryland!

    My husband has filed for full custody of his daughter (ex and he have been separated since 2013) C (his daughter)is 7yrs old. We have 2 other kids N (girl, 3) and Z (8mo old). We live in a 2 bed basement to my family’s house where we have everything we could need. Living room, full kitchen with dining nook we’ve incorporated, a pantry, a bathroom and the 2 rooms, ours and the kids. The kids share a bedroom. The girls have bunk beds and the baby sleeps in his own crib on the other side. When we initially filed we did under the suspicion mom is using drugs. After filing she was arrested for driving under the influence of drugs- not marijuana, causing an accident due to being under the influence and a few other charges. Since then her trail date has been pushed twice because the arresting officers really want to be there but each had their own fam emergency. New trail date 7/26. Recently, she’s received 2 DUIs (alcohol). You would think this is enough for emergency custody but it isn’t because C wasn’t with her at the time which disqualifies it as emergency. Anyways, back to my original question. Tomorrow we have a “scheduling conference” where our attorney will ask for a home study on both ends. Even though it might be a little while before they perform it, i want to start preparing now. But what will they be looking for? How can we make our place look better than moms? Mom lives with gma in a grand 4 bd house which to my understanding is a mild case of hoarders and they have bed bugs. C sleeps in an air mattress next to moms twin bed ( if you have a 4 bd house why are you sharing a room?). C says they need to buy screws to assemble her bed frame and that thats the reason why shes not sleeping in her room. But i call BS because that takes only 30 mins of your time and they’ve been telling her this since last year. Im sure they will make necessary changes once alerted about the home study, so i want our small place to be even better than theirs. Will they let us know beforehand? What will they be looking for besides the basic clean house, no cleaning fluids accessible no medicine out etc?

  • Anonymous July 21, 2018, 9:04 pm

    Would an evaluation be negatively impacted by an air bed mattess? My child’s mattress just had a wire poke through, so it needs to be replaced ASAP. The problem is mattresses are a small investment and not immediately in my budget. An air bed mattresses looks like the most affordable option at this time without borrowing, which I’d rather avoid. That would be a temporary solution until I can afford a quality mattress set. However, if the air bed mattress would negatively impact my case, I’ll borrow if I have to. Please let me know what you think.

    • FullCustodyDad July 22, 2018, 8:10 am


      Two thoughts here… 1) If you are not going for primary custody, the quality of the room that your kids sleep in is fairly irrelevant. Parents there are no minimum standards for where and how children sleep. HOWEVER… 2) If you are going for primary custody, then the child’s bedroom needs to look as nice as possible with all the “other” dressings of the bedroom. 4 walls with an air-matress on the floor in the center of the room, sends an entirely different message to a nicely painted room with 3-4 kid-centric furniture, tons of books and toys and a temporary air mattress on a four-poster bed with a box spring. The latter is totally acceptable, the former is not going to win you custody.

      Good question, hope that helps.

      • Anonymous July 22, 2018, 3:51 pm

        That does help. Thank you. The latter is what I had in mind. Primary custody is the goal. Another question that came to mind while browser bedding – would it have much impact if I upgraded my child’s bed from a twin to a full or bunk, so that he could have buddies sleep over? I hadn’t considered it before because he’s still a little below that age, but within a year or two will be at typical sleep-over age. Of course, at that time I would need to be prepared. I just didn’t want to rush out and finance it just yet, unless that is something the evaluator will be looking for or even consider.

        • FullCustodyDad July 24, 2018, 9:55 pm

          No a twin or a bunk will have no major impact. Whatever looks nice in the room. I have seen both presented well. The goal here is to make it look nice, permanent and their room. I cannot over emphasis on paint, pictures, wall coverings etc.

          • Anonymous July 26, 2018, 2:49 am

            Thank you so much! This blog is a great resource. Very helpful and informative.

  • justamom November 21, 2018, 10:30 am

    Hello, I have filed for sole physical and legal custody of my 4 year old son, I have a default hearing coming up. I just wanted to ask, is it possible to ask a judge to put some kind of “hold” on visitation until the other parent can find a place to live? Right now, my ex is living in a hotel room with a single bed, it has a little kitchenette and bathroom, but my son does not have a place to sleep except in the bed with his dad and his dads girlfriend – which makes me uncomfortable. My ex had lived with his mother but things didn’t work out there so he ended up sleeping in his car for a few days until he found a hotel room, which he has been living in for almost 2 months now with my 4 year old and his girlfriend. I want to ask the judge to hold visitation for now until he can get his name on a lease somewhere where my son a real place to stay and his own bed to sleep in. But given the hotel room does come with the kitchen and bathroom it could be much worse. I just really don’t like the thought of my son having to share a bed with 2 adults. Advice?

    • FullCustodyDad November 21, 2018, 3:35 pm

      so feel your pain. So been there, done that only the roles were reversed. As I have said in previous comments, if your Ex is not trying to seek primary custody, then there are no state minimum requirements of any kind in regards to sleeping arrangements for the non-custodial parent. That statement is terrible, trust me I know. So in direct answer to your question, you can always ask the judge, but be prepared for him to say “no” and tread lightly on not making the question sound like alienation in any way or form. Judges let non-custodial homeless parents exercise their visitation, hotel is consider adequate, unless there is documented physical harm for the child the judge is going to allow it.

      What I would do is buy a sleeping bag and pup-tent and send it over if you are concerned. You son will love it and you’ll know that he’s not in bed with Dad and girlfriend.

      This is probably not the answer you want to hear, the hardest thing about co-parenting is not parenting to the other side. *sigh* Hang in there!

  • Alicja Krzyzanowska August 7, 2019, 9:09 am

    Me and my ex have 50/50 custody. He has recently moved into a one-bedroom apartment with his girlfriend. My 7-year-old daughter will not have her own room. They did not get this apartment because they could not afford anything else, they are paying $1500, it is a brand new complex (which for me makes it worse). I live in Florida, is there any way I can get full custody until he gets a 2 bedroom?

    • FullCustodyDad August 7, 2019, 9:47 am

      super question, and perhaps a quick call to a local attorney in your city could get you a very specific answer. Here’s the deal, I recommend that if you are the one seeking custody that it’s always a good idea to have separate sleeping arrangements for your children, especially if they are of the opposite sex. However, there are no exact rules that I am aware of that mandates that as a requirement for custody. (I know right, crazy.) So most judges take it on a case by case bases.

      You might talk with an attorney about temporary custody if you can build a case that it’s not in the best interest of your daughter. But it takes time and money and he could adjust sleeping arrangements in the process.

      So I know I am not giving you a very specific answer. This issue mixed with several other issues might be justification for a change, but it is probably not enough on it’s own merit. :(

  • Josh September 13, 2019, 6:42 pm

    Going through divorce right now. When ex moved out she got a bunk bed for her and our son. I told her then she should not be in a bunk bed. Our son is only 3, and is very klutzy. Told her that he should not be on top, because if there is an emergency or he gets sick, it would be hard for her to get him out of top bunk. She is over 300lbs and told her since she breaks beds from dropping into bed it would not be safe for her to be up there either.

    I found a few articles that say no child under 6 should be in top bunk. She doesn’t care saying it is only a recommendation not a law, and that I am not worried about his safety just about arguing with her. She told me to my face in front of my lawyer, that if she hadn’t had to disclose where she moved for the parenting agreement she would never had told me where she moved to.

    Not looking for full custody, I won’t do that to her or our son. But she has made it plainly clear I can’t trust her enough to give her 50/50.

    • FullCustodyDad September 19, 2019, 10:50 am


      thanks for your comment and I totally get your concern. Document everything. To the best of my knowledge, there is no hard and fast rule about any sleeping arrangements for kids. You have to present a pattern of concern as courts are not even interested in isoloated cases. Hang in there.