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A novel heuristics-based handover mechanism for mobile ad hoc networks (MANETs) is proposed to support real-time communication. The proposed scheme reduces the delay jitter and end-to-end delay arising from hard handover in MANETs where new routes are discovered after the current route is no longer available in between an active communication flow. However, with the proposed algorithm, newer routes are found in advance for active flows by predicting route failures using heuristics which act based on the strength of signal of the received packets. Simulation results show that, using the proposed handover algorithm there is a marked improvement in the jitter and end-to-end delay, especially at high mobility rates which are most vulnerable to frequent route breakages.