Indiana Relocation Attorneys
When You Need Indianapolis Relocation Attorneys
Families must find a new normal after a divorce. With separate households and parenting time schedules, former spouses and their children must adjust to a new way of being a family. But one former spouse’s plan to relocate can have a domino effect on the family, and many don’t realize that the planned move requires notice to the court and relevant family members—even if that spouse does not have primary custody of the child or children.
The Indianapolis relocation attorneys at Keffer Hirschauer LLP can help you understand your rights and responsibilities and know how to navigate Indiana law on relocating after divorce.
Following a divorce, it is common for former spouses to stay in the same general area. This is particularly important for parents who still need to cooperatively raise their children together. However, there are cases when the custodial parent wants or needs to relocate somewhere further away—so much so that the new distance would affect the children’s relationship with the non-custodial parent. The plan to relocate can have a variety of causes:
- Job opportunity or loss
- Cost of living
If you are a parent or grandparent facing a relocation issue—whether across town or across state lines—then it is essential that you have vigilant and knowledgeable counsel by your side. Our compassionate and experienced Indianapolis relocation attorneys at Keffer Hirschauer LLP are ready to advocate for you and on your children’s behalf. We are experienced, hands-on litigators who are well-versed in presenting a case in the courtroom.
Relocating after Divorce: Who Must Give Notice and Why
When a divorce involves minor children, Indiana divorce law requires certain procedures when one of the former spouses plans to relocate. These procedures help the parties anticipate and address issues that could arise as a result of the move before they become problems.
Generally, before moving residence, Indiana Code § 31-17-2.2-1 requires the relocating individual to file notice of the intent to relocate with the court and serve copies of the notice on the nonrelocating individual. Indiana Code § 31-9-2-107.5 defines “relocating individual” as anyone who meets both of the following criteria:
- Intends to change his or her principal residence
- Has or is seeking custody or parenting time with a child of the marriage, excluding grandparent visitation
In other words, the notice requirements of the relocation law apply even if the parent moving households does not have primary physical custody.
The relocation of a parent, with or without a child, can have serious impacts on the delicate balance developing or established during and after a divorce. The Indianapolis relocation attorneys at Keffer Hirschauer LLP can help you understand the nuances of Indiana divorce law on relocating after divorce and advise you on how to proceed to further the best interests of your family.
What Must Be Included in a Notice of Intent to Relocate
The notice of intent to relocate is meant to give the former partner and the court enough information to evaluate the impact of the planned move on the current child-related orders and take steps to address anticipated problems. To accomplish that, Indiana Code § 31-17-2.2-3 requires that the notice of intent to relocate include the following:
- The address of the intended new residence
- The mailing address after the relocation if different from the residential address
- A complete list of the relocating individual’s telephone numbers
- The date of the planned move
- A brief explanation of the reasons for the proposed move
- A statement on whether the relocating parent anticipates the move will require a change in current parenting time or grandparent visitation schedules
The following additional obligations:
- That the nonrelocating parent must file a response within 20 days after service of the notice
- That the nonrelocating parent may file a written request asking the court to prevent the child’s relocation temporarily or permanently
- That a nonrelocating parent may file with the court a request to modify relevant orders for custody, child support, parenting time, or grandparent visitation
- That the existing court orders are still in effect regarding custody, child support, parenting time, grandparent visitation, and child support
The failure to file a notice of intent to relocate timely or in compliance with the law can impact the court’s evaluation of your credibility in planning your move. When contacted early enough, a Keffer Hirschauer LLP Indianapolis relocation attorney can help you remain cooperative and upfront in the eyes of the court and your former partner.
Deadline to Respond to a Notice of Intent to Relocate
As indicated above, the nonrelocating individual has 20 days to file a response to the notice of intent to relocate. Under Indiana Code § 31-17-2.2-5, the nonrelocating individual’s filing must include one of these three responses:
- That there is no objection to the child’s relocation and no request to modify custody, child support, parenting time, or grandparent visitation
- That there is no objection to the child’s relocation but the nonrelocating individual requests the court modify custody, child support, parenting time, or grandparent visitation, including a request for a hearing
- That the nonrelocating individual objects and requests a temporary or permanent order to prevent the child’s relocation and requests the court modify custody, child support, parenting time, or grandparent visitation, including a request for a hearing
Upon request by either party, the court will set a hearing to determine the issues raised in the response to the notice of intent.
In a few cases, no response by the nonrelocating individual is required. Specifically, if the parties have reached an agreement about the planned relocation, no response is required if, instead, the parties file the written agreement addressing all of the issues raised by the proposed relocation. If the agreement results in a change to child support, the parties must also attach a signed Child Support Obligation Worksheet.
Negotiating and drafting an objection to a notice of intent to relocate or an agreement on relocation matters requires an experienced Indiana family law attorney like those at Keffer Hirschauer LLP. As highly respected Indianapolis relocation attorneys, we can help you present a plan for relocation that persuasively addresses the best interests of your family.
When Is Filing a Notice of Intent to Relocate Required
In Indiana, not all plans to move residence require the filing of a notice of intent to relocate. Indiana Code § 31-17-2.2-1 provides that notice is not required in the following cases:
- A prior court order has already addressed the relocation
- A prior court order has relieved the parties of filing a notice of intent to relocate
- The proposed relocation would allow the children to remain in their current school district and:
- The proposed relocation will decrease the distance between the relocating individual’s residence and that of the nonrelocating individual
- The proposed relocation will increase the distance between the relocating individual’s residence and that of the nonrelocating individual no more than 20 miles
Skilled Indianapolis relocation attorneys understand the approach of Indiana courts to a parent’s plan to relocate during or after a divorce. Working with the Indiana family law attorneys at Keffer Hirschauer LLP gives you the benefit of their understanding of each court and how best to approach relocations in Indiana.
Objection to a Notice of Intent to Relocate: Factors Considered
When the nonrelocating individual objects to the proposed move, the court may order the parties to participate in mediation or some other form of alternative dispute resolution, decide the matter by considering the parties’ filings, or set the matter for hearing. When the court is evaluating the parties’ filings or hearing evidence, it must examine the reasons for the move and the effects on all relevant parties and then determine whether to allow the move without changes to existing child-related orders. Even if the court allows the move, it might also find grounds for changing orders regarding custody, child support, parenting time, or grandparent visitation.
Whether the court uses just the parties’ written filings or holds a hearing, Indiana Code § 31-17-2.2-2 requires it to consider these factors in reaching its decision:
- How far the relocating individual plans to move
- Whether the move will result in hardship on nonrelocating individuals to exercise parenting time or grandparent visitation
- The effect of the move on maintaining the relationship between the nonrelocating individual and the child, including the effect on parenting time and the cost of exercising visitation
- Whether the relocating individual has a pattern of conduct promoting or interfering with contact between the nonrelocating individuals and the child
- The relocating individual’s reasons for wanting to move
- The nonrelocating individual’s reasons for objecting to the move
- Any other factor affecting the best interests of the child
To prevail over an objection, the relocating individual has the burden to show that the proposed relocation is planned in “good faith and for a legitimate reason.” However, the nonrelocating individual may still attempt to block the relocation (without alteration to existing child-related orders) by showing the relocation is not in the best interests of the child.
Timely filing a response to a notice of intent to relocate is critical to preserving your right to object. Be sure to consult with a knowledgeable Indianapolis relocation attorney immediately upon learning of your former partner’s plans to move residence.
Why the Indianapolis Relocation Attorneys at Keffer Hirschauer LLP Are in Demand
When you or your former partner have plans to relocate, the consequences can upend the delicate balance you’ve struggled to establish for yourselves and your children after uncoupling. Required notice gives the court and former spouses the opportunity to weigh in. After reviewing the relocation plan and its effects on the family, the court has the authority to issue orders:
- Preventing the child’s relocation
- Modifying legal custody
- Modifying child support
- Modifying parenting time or grandparent visitation
Whether you have to relocate or object to your former partner’s relocation, the Indianapolis relocation attorneys at Keffer Hirschauer LLP can help you understand the law, and, as experienced litigators, we can help you present your plans or objections in the most favorable light.
If you are a parent facing a relocation issue in Indianapolis or elsewhere in Indiana, then it is essential that you have vigilant and knowledgeable counsel by your side. Our compassionate and experienced Indianapolis relocation attorneys at Keffer Hirschauer LLP are ready to advocate for you and on your children’s behalf. We are experienced, hands-on litigators who are well-versed in presenting a case in the courtroom. Contact us right away for free consultation by calling (317) 648-9560 or by completing our online contact form.
Have more questions or concerns over your relocation issue? Start getting the answers and guidance you need—contact us to schedule a free, no-obligation case evaluation now.