Indiana relocation attorneys based in Fishers, Hamilton County, Indiana


Relocation Cases Can Be Challenging

In marriages with children and paternity cases, a parent who wants to move to a new residence may have to follow a statutory notice procedure. The procedure involves serving the other parent with a timely notice of the parent’s intention to relocate. Indiana’s relocation statute specifies the information which must be included in the notice.  If the other parent objects, the Court will set the matter for a hearing. The relocation statute applies to both custodial and non-custodial parents, and it applies in cases in which parents are sharing equal time with a child.  A parent who relocates in violation of the statute may be subject to sanctions.  The sanction might be a court order to return to the former residence with the children, or to turn the children over to the other parent’s custody pending a hearing on the issue. In many cases, a trial over relocation is essentially a trial over custody of the child.

Currently, the relocation statute is applicable if there is a pending divorce or paternity proceeding.  It is also applicable if there is a Court order addressing custody or parenting time, even if there is currently nothing pending in the Court.  The required notice must be given if the parent is relocating more than 20 miles from his or her former residence, and/or if the relocation will require a child to change school districts.

Relocation cases can be some of the most difficult for a family law Court to decide.  The relocating parent must demonstrate that the relocation is being done in good faith, and that relocation is in the “best interests” of the child.  Under older law, Courts routinely approved relocation requests.  This is no longer the case.  If the non-relocating parent has a close relationship with the child, it may be difficult for the relocating parent to obtain the necessary Court approval.  It is strongly recommended that any relocation issue be resolved – by written agreement or otherwise — BEFORE the parent relocates.

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Disclaimer: The results provided are not necessarily representative of the results or of the experience of all clients or others with the lawyer/firm. Every case is different, and each client’s case must be evaluated and handled on its own merits.