Whether you share custody with your child’s other parent or you have sole custody while he or she has visitation time, you must consider everyone’s interests when deciding to relocate with your child. If the other parent does not agree with the relocation, you can raise the issue with Indiana family courts.
Before making a household move, read on to learn more about the state’s relocation laws when it comes to child custody.
Filing court paperwork
A parent who wants to move against the other parent’s wishes must file a Notice of Intent to Relocate at least 90 days before the intended move. This document must include details about the intended date of the move, the new mailing address, the reason for the proposed move and a revised visitation schedule. Once you file this form, the court notifies the other parent that he or she has 60 days to contest the move and/or file a petition for a change in custody or parenting time.
Requesting a hearing
If the other parent does not contest within 60 days, the court grants permission to move by default. When he or she does contest, either parent can request a full hearing at which the judge will determine whether or not you have permission to move with your child.
At this hearing, you must prove that the move is for a legitimate reason, in the child’s best interest and pursued in good faith. The judge will consider the distance involved, the potentially increased expense of visitation for the other parent, whether you have previously attempted to facilitate or thwart the other parent’s child custody or visitation and the other parent’s reasons for contesting the move. If your child is 14 or older, the court will also consider his or her wishes.
In general, the court will approve a move only when it significantly improves quality of life for your child. You may call witnesses and present evidence during the hearing to support your decision and illustrate the benefits of the move.