Wallerstedt v. Wallerstedt – Relocation in Indiana Child Custody Cases
When the custodial parent of a minor child in Indiana plans to move to a new residence, that parent must understand his or her rights or obligations with respect to child custody.
As of July 1, 2006, a parent with custody or court-approved parenting time with a minor has to first file a notice with the court and send a copy to give notice to the other parent. The court may then choose – or the other parent may request – a hearing to determine whether there should be a change in existing child custody, visitation, or support. If the other parent has parenting time or is trying to obtain it, they must be afforded a copy of this required notice to the court.
The court can’t refuse to give you permission to move. However, it could refuse to allow you to take your child with you, or it could substantially alter the existing custody, visitation, or support orders if you go through with the move. The court is generally going to consider:
- Distance of the move;
- Difficulty for the other parent to exercise parenting time after the move;
- Whether the parent-child relationship can be preserved after the move;
- Whether there is a pattern of trying to support or deny contact between the child and the other parent;
- Reasons for the move;
- Reasons the other parent opposes the move.
In the end, the court will always consider what is in the best interests of the child. Continue reading