Articles Tagged with Hammond child custody lawyer

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

In Indiana, when a custodial parent wishes to move either out of state or out of the country, he or she needs to comply with Indiana Code Chapter 31-17-2.2, which requires notification of the courts and the other parent. The law applies whether parents are divorced, separated, or never married. 

In cases where the intended move is extremely far away – across the country or overseas – both parents involved should consult with an Indiana child custody attorney because the ramifications of such a move can be major. The court cannot prohibit someone from moving, but it can restrict a parent from taking the child with them. And in the event you are the non-custodial parent, it’s important to consult with a lawyer if you wish to oppose an ex-spouse’s move or modify an existing custody arrangement. Failure to do so in a timely manner could complicate your case, and taking matters into your own hands could put you at a legal disadvantage.

Take the recent case of Martinez v. Cahue, an appeal before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, which has jurisdiction over all of Indiana. This was a case involving an appeal from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division. According to court records, a young boy lived exclusively with his mother up until the age of seven, although his father lived nearby and saw him often. Mother and father had their own custody, visitation, and support arrangement, though it was never formalized by a court order. Then, when the boy turned seven, his mother moved to Mexico, her native country, and he went with her. Continue reading

Per the 2002 Indiana Supreme Court case of In re Guardianship of B.H., family courts in this state operate with the strong presumption that a child’s interests are best served by being placed with his or her natural parent. When third parties seek to intervene in custody proceedings to acquire custody, it is the third party that bears the burden of proof in the case.

This is true even when natural parents initiate an action to re-obtain custody of a child. In those situations, the burden of proof doesn’t automatically shift back to the parent. Instead, it’s always on the third party. Parents and third parties aren’t, as the courts have held, on a “level playing field” when it comes to custody. Parents will always have the upper hand.

However, this does not mean parents don’t lose these cases. In fact, it happens all the time and it’s often the result of being unprepared for hearings and trials – including failing to adhere to court recommendations and guidelines from previous hearings. Continue reading