Your divorce is final and you have an established custody arrangement for your children, but your employer asks you to relocate. You want to make good career moves, but as the custodial parent, you have a responsibility to make sure your minor children can maintain a relationship with their other parents.
If a judge decreed your custody agreement, then your obligation is also a legal one. Indiana code requires you to notify the court, as well as your former spouse, of your intent to relocate.
You may not need to go to court
The best-case scenario is one where you do not need a judge to make major decisions for your family. If you have a cordial co-parenting relationship with your children’s non-custodial parent, then you may be able to communicate civilly about your relocation and come to a fair custody agreement on your own. You can then collaboratively submit your plan to the court for approval.
Act in your children’s best interest
Judges prefer it when parents work together. However, it is common for a non-custodial parent to object to the relocation.
In the hearing, you must demonstrate how the move will improve your children’s circumstances, opportunities or quality of life. Your former spouse may argue that the distance will negatively impact their parenting time. The judge must decide if the benefits outweigh the risks of disrupting the lives of your children.
There is much to consider before changing your children’s principal residence. Therefore, it is important to understand Indiana law as well as the legal process before making life-changing decisions for your family.