You might assume that if you have custody of your child, you are free to move wherever you choose with your child. In recent years, however, Indiana has expanded and clarified the rules that a custodial parent, guardian, and noncustodial parent must follow if they want to move with their child.
Updating Your Address, Phone Number, and Email Address
First, Indiana Code § 31-17-2.2-0.5 requires all people who have or who are seeking custody of a child, parenting time with a child, or grandparent’s visitation with a child to provide updated home addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses to any other person who has or is seeking legal rights with a child. In other words, if you have custody of a child, you must always make sure that the child’s other parent has your most current contact information. This duty also applies to grandparents or third parties who have custody or guardianship of a child.
Filing a Notice of Intent to Move
Indiana Code § 31-17-2.2-1 generally provides that if you intend to relocate, you must file a notice of intent to move with the local clerk of court’s office. If you have a custody or parenting time order, you must file your notice in that court under your case number. If you don’t have a custody or parenting time order, you must open a new case in the local court that would have jurisdiction over the child.
In addition to filing the notice to the court, you also must serve a copy of the notice of intent to move on all the people entitled to notice of your move no later than 30 days before the date of your intended move or no more than 14 days after you become aware of your intended move, whichever is sooner.
Your notice of intent to move must contain the following information:
- The physical and mailing address of the residence where you intend to move
- All your phone numbers
- The date on which you intend to move
- The specific reasons for your intended move
Additionally, your notice of intent to move must contain the following statements:
- Whether you do or do not believe that the parenting time or grandparent visitation schedule should be revised.
- The parent who is NOT moving must file a response to your intended move with the child no more than 20 days after being served with notice of your intent to move.
- A party may file a petition requesting an order to prevent the temporary or permanent move of the child.
- The parent who is NOT moving may file a petition to modify the custody order, parenting time order, grandparent visitation order, or child support order.
- All existing custody, parenting time, grandparent visitation, and child support orders must remain in effect until modified by the court.
Exceptions to the Requirement of Filing a Notice of Intent to Move
You are NOT required to file a notice of intent to move with the court if either of the following situations exist:
- A court order already has addressed the intended relocation, along with an order that you are not required to file a notice of intent to move,
- The move will result in a decrease in the distance between the moving parent’s home and the home of the person who is not moving and the child will remain in the current school district, or
- The move will result in an increase of not more than 20 miles in the distance between the moving parent’s home and the home of the person who is not moving and the child will remain in the current school district.
Objecting to the Proposed Move
A parent who wants to object to the proposed move or address other issues related to the move can file a response and motion with the court to set a hearing. The parent’s must response must include at least one of the following:
- A statement that the parent does not object to the proposed move and asking for modification of the custody, parenting time, grandparent visitation, or child support order.
- A statement that the parent does not object to the proposed move and a motion asking the court to set a hearing on the modification of the custody, parenting time, grandparent visitation, or child support order due to the proposed move.
- A statement that the parent objects to the relocation of the child and asking that the court issue an order either temporarily or permanently preventing the child from moving and set a hearing on the modification of the custody, parenting time, grandparent visitation, or child support order due to the proposed move.
At the hearing, the court can determine whether the person can move or not. The court also can review and, if appropriate, modify court orders concerning custody, parenting time, grandparent visitation, and child support. In making these decisions, the court must take the following factors into consideration:
- The distance involved in the proposed change of residence
- The hardship and expense involved for the other party to exercise parenting time
- The feasibility of preserving the relationship between the other party and the child through suitable parenting time and grandparent visitation arrangements, including consideration of the financial circumstances of the parties
- Whether there is an established pattern of conduct by the moving
parent to either promote or thwart the other party’s contact with the child
- The reasons provided for the parent’s intended move of the child
- The reasons for the other parent’s opposition to the intended move
- Other factors affecting the best interest of the child
Call the Law Offices of Jeffrey T. Arnold for Help
Questions about moving with your child or stopping your child’s other parent from moving? We are here to help. Contact Arnold Law Office today at 765-962-3344 or 866-958-5995 and schedule a time to talk to Jeffrey T. Arnold about your case.