Divorce or separation can often result in former couples splitting up the assets they once owned jointly. If the couple has children, they will have to make child custody arrangements that are in the child’s best interests. Indiana courts believe that a stable home environment is one of the most important ways to foster healthy growth and development in children. If one parent decides to move away, this could affect the child’s daily routine and sense of stability. Here are some important points to consider when it comes to relocation orders in Indiana.
Filing a relocation notice
Indiana child custody statutes indicate that a parent who wishes to relocate file a notice with the county clerk stating their intent to move. The parent must present their custody order with their relocation notice so the courts can see how the parent’s move will impact the child.
Parents do not have to submit a relocation order if they have already expressed an intent to move in a prior court order. If the parent’s move will mean that they will be closer to their child instead of further away, a relocation order is not necessary. The same applies if the relocation is less than 20 miles away from the parent’s original residence.
A relocation hearing
After the motion of at least one party, the court will conduct a relocation hearing to determine if the parent’s request to move will be approved or denied. The hearing is also the time when the child custody order will be modified to indicate new stipulations for visitation and child support.
The courts will also consider the reason the parent is moving, the distance of the move, and the challenges the non-relocating parent may face financially or schedule-wise if the move is approved. The courts will also investigate to see whether the children are in favor of the move and whether the relocation will allow to maintain a close relationship with the relocating parent.