What does Indiana law say about child custody and relocation?

Indiana parents who have gotten a divorce and have children will undoubtedly want the best for them. When there is a child custody agreement, the noncustodial parent will generally have visitation rights. In a best-case scenario, the parents will be amicable and able to talk cordially to one another regarding issues with the child. Even if that is not the case, the agreement is meant to ensure both parents have sufficient time with the child and act in his or her best interests.

However, in some instances, it becomes necessary for a custodial parent to relocate. In such a circumstance, it is imperative that both parents understand the law for relocation, modifying a child custody order to accommodate it, and when it can be done. First, the parent who is relocating is required to file a notice that he or she intends to move. It must be with the clerk of the court that did the following: issued the child custody order or the parenting time order; or if that is not applicable, it must be filed in the relevant jurisdiction.

Once the motion has been made, the court will plan a hearing for any order to be reviewed and modified. This applies to custody, parenting time, child support and grandparent visitation. The following will be considered in this context: how far the parent plans to move; if there is hardship or expense for the person who is not relocating with exercising parenting time or for grandparents to have visitation; if it is feasible to preserve a relationship between the parent who is not relocating and the child; and if there is conduct on the part of the relocating parent that will promote or prevent the relationship between the child and the non-relocating parent.

There can be reasons presented as to why the parent is relocating and an objection by the non-relocating parent. The court will focus on the child's best interests. Relocation is one of the most complicated aspects of a child custody case. In some cases, the parents will be agreeable. In others, there will be a dispute over it. Having legal assistance from a law firm that handles family law and child custody cases is critical to a relocation case and the modifications that accompany it.

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