There are many reasons why you would move, such as personal reasons or work-related reasons. Parents who have a controlling custody order must adhere to certain requirements in advance of their move. If you already have a controlling custody order, then you are aware of the court’s involvement in custody determinations for the minor child(ren)? You might be wondering why you have to make the court aware of the move. Any person that has custody, parenting time, or grandparent’s visitation pursuant to Indiana Code 31-17-5, must keep all parties involved abreast of their home address, phone number, and email address. This is so the court can always determine the child’s best interest at all times. This blog addresses what you need to know about relocation.
Before you jump to file a notice of intent to relocate, first you must determine whether the move will result in a shorter distance between you and the other parent or if the move will create a greater distance. If you are moving and it shortens the distance between you and the non-relocating party, then you are not required to file a notice of intent to relocate. Furthermore, if your move results in distance between you and the non-relocating party, but it is less than twenty (20) miles then you do not need to file a notice of intent to relocate. Ultimately, if the move is more than twenty (20) miles away from the non-relocating party, then you are required to file a notice of intent to relocate.
The notice of intent to relocate requires specific information that the relocating party must include in their notice. The relocating individual must file the notice and serve the notice to the non-relocating party no later than thirty (30) days before the moving date. Another option would be to file the notice no more than fourteen (14) days after the relocating individual becomes aware of the relocation.
After filing the notice of intent to relocate, the court will set the matter for a hearing where the court can determine what is in the best interest of the minor child and further establish custody and parenting time if a modification is required, if there is an objection to relocation. The court will take into consideration the following: “(1) the distance involved in proposed change of residence; (2) the hardship and expense involved for the nonrelocating individual to exercise parenting time or grandparent visitation; (3) the feasibility of preserving the relationship between the nonrelocating individual and the child through suitable parenting time and grandparent visitation arrangements, including consideration of the financial circumstances of the parties; (4) whether there is an established pattern of conduct by the relocating individual, including actions by the relocating individual to either promote or thwart a nonrelocating individual’s contact with the child.” Additionally, the court will consider the arguments for and against by both parties and other factors that are related to the best interest of the child(ren). The main concern with a relocation is the best interest of the minor child, so the relocating party must be able to address how this move can benefit the minor child, by showing the move is made in good faith and for alternate reasons. Another consideration that you must be prepared for is how the relocation will impact the controlling order for custody or parenting time. Will the move make it harder for the non-relocating parent to abide by their given parenting time? Will the move create a great distance between the minor child and the non-relocating parent? Another important component to consider is whether the move will change the minor child’s enrollment at their current school. The court will look at all considerations to determine what is in the best interest of the minor child, and if relocation will be granted or not.
All things considered, it is critical to follow the proper requirements set forth before you relocate. The court requires a detailed notice and schedules a hearing to be set so both parties can be heard on the matter. This is not something that you have to go through alone; a skilled attorney can help along the way and ensure that all necessary steps are taken and ensure the best chance the child(ren) can relocate with you. Ciyou & Associates, P.C. have experienced attorneys who have managed matters such as this throughout the state of Indiana. We are here to assist you in relocating or defending against a relocating parent. This blog post was written by attorneys at Ciyou & Associates. P.C., and this blog is not intended as specific legal advice or a solicitation of services, as this is an advertisement.