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