Relocating? Understanding the Burden of Proof for Parents in Indiana

If you are a parent in Indiana considering relocating with your children, it is crucial to understand the legal requirements and the burden of proof you will need to meet in a relocation proceeding. The burden of proof refers to the obligation to provide sufficient evidence to support your case for relocating with your children. Seeking advice from an experienced family law attorney can ensure that you are fully informed on the relocation requirements in Indiana. This blog will discuss the burden of proof for relocating parents in Indiana.

The burden of proof in a relocation case falls squarely on the parent seeking to relocate. This means that you, as the relocating parent, must present evidence to the court that justifies your proposed move with your children. Pursuant to Indiana law, the relocating parent must file a notice of intent to relocate that meets the statutory requirements. The content of your notice to relocate also has requirements and must meet the statutory muster by providing information like your intended new address, the date of the intended move, etc. Additionally, the non-relocating parent is allowed to file a motion to prevent relocation (within 20 days), which will be heard at the relocation hearing.

The legal standard is the best interests of the child. Indiana courts primarily consider the best interests of the child when deciding relocation cases. As the relocating parent, you must demonstrate that the proposed relocation is in the child’s best interests. The court will evaluate various factors, including but not limited to: (1) the reasons for the proposed relocation; (2) the potential advantages and disadvantages of the move for the child; (3) the child’s relationship with each parent; (4) the impact of the move on the child’s emotional, educational, and social well-being; (5) the feasibility of preserving the non-relocating parent’s relationship with the child.

In accordance with Indiana law, “[t]he relocating individual has the burden of proof that the proposed relocation is made in good faith and for a legitimate reason.” To meet the burden of proof, you will need to provide compelling evidence that supports your case for relocation. This may include: (1) documentation of employment opportunities or educational prospects at the new location; (2) evidence of a support system or family ties at the new location; (3) information about the child’s potential living arrangements and educational opportunities at the new location; (4) proposed parenting time schedule to facilitate the non-relocating parent’s continued involvement in the child’s life; (5) expert testimony, if necessary, regarding the potential impact of the move on the child. 

It is important to note that the burden of proof in relocation cases is often a high bar to meet. The court will scrutinize the evidence carefully and may be hesitant to approve a relocation that could significantly disrupt the child’s relationship with the non-relocating parent. Navigating the complexities of a relocation proceeding can be challenging, and the burden of proof can be a significant hurdle. It is highly recommended that you seek guidance from an experienced family law attorney who can help you build a strong case and present compelling evidence to support your proposed relocation.

Remember, the court’s primary focus is the best interests of the child, and you will need to demonstrate how the proposed relocation aligns with the principle. With proper preparation and legal representation, you can increase your chances of meeting the burden of proof and obtaining the court’s approval for your relocation. The attorneys at Ciyou & Associates, P.C. have an extensive background in relocation matters in family law proceedings throughout Indiana. We are here to help you with your relocation proceeding. This blog was written by attorneys at Ciyou & Associates, P.C., and this is not intended as specific legal advice or solicitation of services as this is an advertisement. 


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