You’ve found a great new job in a different city or a better home across town. You’ve packed dozens of cardboard boxes, enlisted the help of friends to carry your furniture, and reserved a U-Haul truck. You’re just about ready to move. But have you considered Indiana laws and guidelines for relocation custody cases?
If you’re an Indiana parent of a child subject to a custody order, parenting time order, or grandparent visitation order, you may have forgotten a critical step that is required before you move. An Indiana child custody lawyer can help ensure that you complete all steps necessary for the relocation of a child after a divorce or custody matter in compliance with existing court orders.
What Parents Need to Know in Indiana Relocation Custody Cases
Indiana Code § 31-17-2.2-1 requires that a relocating individual file an Indiana notice of intent to relocate with the clerk of the court that issued the custody, parenting time, or grandparent visitation order. Indiana Code § 31-17-2.2-3 requires that the notice be sent to all affected nonrelocating parties by registered or certified mail at least 90 days before the custodial parent intends to move.
Information Required in the Indiana Notice of Intent to Relocate
The Indiana notice of intent to relocate must provide a very detailed description of the relocation. The notice must include the following details:
- Address of the new residence;
- Mailing address, if not the same as the new address;
- Home phone number at the new residence;
- Any other phone number of the relocating individual;
- Date of the intended move;
- A detailed statement of the reasons for the relocation of the child;
- Proposed revisions to any scheduled or court-ordered visitations, including parenting time and grandparent visitation;
- Notification that an objection to the relocation must be filed with the court within 60 days of receiving the notice; and
- Notification that any nonrelocating individual can file for Indiana child custody modification or request changes to existing custody or visitation orders.
If you can’t provide all of this information in the initial Indiana notice of intent to relocate, you may supplement the notice within 10 days of receiving the information. However, all of the information must be provided no later than 30 days before you intend to move. An Indiana child custody lawyer can assist you in completing all requirements within the designated timeframes.
Options for the Nonrelocating Parent in Indiana Relocation Custody Cases
If you’re the noncustodial parent and have received an Indiana notice of intent to relocate, you may file an objection to the intended relocation. Indiana Code § 31-17-2.2-5 governs the objection process.
The objecting parent must file a motion with the court to prohibit relocation of the child within 60 days of receiving the notice. If requested, the court will hear arguments and make a determination regarding the appropriateness of the relocation motion.
The parent who is relocating must first provide cause and establish honest intent for the move. If this burden is met, the objecting parent must provide evidence that the proposed relocation is contrary to the child’s best interest.
If the court finds that the relocation is not made in good faith, for a legitimate reason, or not in the best interest of the child, it will forbid the relocation of the child. If the nonrelocating parent does not file a motion objecting to the relocation, the custodial parent may relocate to the new residence.
Requests for Indiana Child Custody Modification
The nonrelocating parent or a grandparent with visitation rights may also file a motion and the court will set a hearing to review and modify, if appropriate, any existing orders for custody and visitation. In addition to factors affecting the best interest of the child, the court will consider the following when an Indiana child custody modification is requested:
- The distance between interested parties created by the proposed relocation;
- The “hardship and expense” created for nonrelocating individuals to exercise parenting and visitation rights;
- The “feasibility of preserving the relationship” with the child, including assessment of the financial circumstances of the parties;
- Whether there is a “pattern of conduct” by the relocating individual, including attempts to “promote or thwart” the nonrelocating individual’s contact with the child; and
- The justifications supporting or opposing the relocation.
When Do You Need an Indiana Child Custody Lawyer for Relocation Custody Cases?
As either a relocating custodial parent or a nonrelocating individual in receipt of an Indiana notice of intent to relocate, it is important to know the information and timeliness requirements of Indiana law as it relates to the relocation of a child after a divorce or custody matter.
If you are a custodial or noncustodial parent and need an Indiana child custody lawyer or other representation in the area of family law, please call attorney Julie Camden of Camden & Meridew, P.C. Julie is experienced in family law and relocation custody cases and will help ensure your rights as a parent or guardian. Call Camden & Meridew at 317-770-0000 or fill out our online contact form for a consultation.
This website supplies general information about the law but it is provided for informational purposes only. This content does not create an attorney-client relationship and more importantly is not meant to constitute legal advice. You should not act on any of the information contained herein without first consulting an attorney.