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What to know about relocating when you share child custody

On Behalf of | Mar 15, 2022 | Family Law

Indiana laws require individuals who have joint or primary custody of minor children to follow specific protocols when they intend to relocate. The rules are in place to protect children whether or not they also move.

Understanding the answers to these common questions can help you avoid unnecessary legal complications.

How do I declare my intention to relocate?

Whether you share custody or have visitation rights, it is necessary to file a formal court notice stating the reasons for your move and how it affects your current visitation agreement. This document must also include relevant details such as:

  • Your new address
  • Your move date
  • Your contact telephone number

How do I notify my child’s other guardian?

It is necessary to send the non-moving parent or guardian a copy of the filing within 30 days of your move date. You must also include details instructing the notice recipient about responding in writing.

What happens when my child’s other guardian objects to my move?

The non-moving guardian may file a motion to prevent the move within the time frame specified in your relocation filing. Next, both sides have an opportunity to resolve the matter through mediation before a formal hearing where a judge makes a final determination. Finally, a judge who honors your relocation request may adjust your visitation agreement.

Can I move without involving the court?

A relocation notice is unnecessary if your move decreases the distance between guardians’ homes or does not increase it by more than 20 miles. In short, your child should not have to attend a new school or make other drastic lifestyle changes due to the move.

Ultimately, open communication with your child’s other parent or guardian protects your child’s welfare and may lead to agreeable custody arrangements.