Custody is initially determined by the courts in divorce or paternity by considering statutory factors, including the age of the child, his/her adjustment to their home, school, community, and the mental and physical health of all individuals involved.1 In this situation, there is no preference for either parent. Psychologically and socially, children need stability so custody is not as easy to modify. However, custody can be modified by a court upon a showing of substantial change in the initial custody factors, and that a modification would be ...
September 14, 2016 / Custody Relocation
A number of our blogs over time have discussed the “how to” of a good faith relocation. Unfortunately, sometimes a parent gets blinded by the desire to move and loses sight of the fact this may not be in the children’s best interests; and he or she may provide very little or no notice and relocate. This blog addresses the potential remedies to stop or challenge a custodial parent’s relocation with the child by the non-custodial parent. When the custodial parent provides timely ...
August 23, 2016 / Custody Relocation
In 2006, the Legislature passed a “relocation statute” to provide guidance to the courts on how the courts should address a parent who wants to relocate, especially since this type of action typically involves creating some distance between at least one of the parents and the minor child/children. The statute mandates that the relocating parent provide advance notice of the intended relocation and that the relocating parent has the burden of proof to demonstrate "good faith ...
In 2006, the General Assembly enacted a new statute addressing relocation of parents in the child custody provisions of the Divorce and Paternity Act. The relocation provisions required certain notice to be given to a non-relocating parent who may object. This was interpreted by the Indiana Supreme Court in 2008 in the Baxendale case.1 In general, Baxendale, directed a trial court may consider relocation as a part of the best interests factors and modify custody to the non-relocating parent. Since ...
Many divorce lawyers receive requests for guidance from their clients on “changing venue.” In Indiana, this is not common and is generally associated with moving the case from one county to another. This occurs in rare occasions in criminal cases in order to ensure an impartial jury. In a limited number of cases, first, the case may be filed in the wrong county by mistake or the parties move from the county during the divorce. Where these facts exist, it may be possible to ...
December 2, 2015 / Custody Relocation
Our society is more mobile than ever, working from home to teleconferencing across the globe. This makes relocation by a custodial parent more likely now than at any time in the past. There are three keys that a custodial parents must establish in order to be allowed to relocate with the children. First, and perhaps most important, is that the relocation is made in good faith and for a legitimate reason. A job transfer, layoff, and work-related reasons are the most common and likely to be successful. What ...
In paternity and divorce cases, parties sometimes do not fully understand “legal custody.” Legal custody has nothing to do with who a child stays with for parenting time or custody. Instead, it is which parent(s) has the authority to make decisions about the child’s health, education, and religions decisions.1 If it is in a child’s best interests, the court may award joint legal custody. This is generally appropriate and in the child’s best interests when the parents have a generally shared view of these matters, ...
September 23, 2015 / Custody Relocation
In 2006, the General Assembly adopted a comprehensive set of statutes to be followed in the event either party in a divorce or post-divorce proceeding moved. This requires either parent (custodial or the one who has parenting time) to notify the other they are moving and allows objection to the move. The obvious focus is to allow a court to determine how this impacts the children’s best interests. This new statutory scheme ultimately raised a number of legal questions that were addressed by Indiana’s courts. The first is whether and how ...
June 16, 2015 / Custody Relocation
Supposing a custodial parent is permitted by a court to relocate with the child to another state, there are often matters that arise after relocation that must be decided by a court with regard to the child. This brings up a relatively frequent question of which court decides, the court in the child’s former state of residence, generally the “home state,” or the state where the child now resides. Generally, the court in the child’s former “home state” retains jurisdiction so long as the non-relocating parent resides there. However, a petition ...
Where the is a dispute about a child, from its biological parent to impermissible removal of a child from his or her home to return, there are numerous statutory laws that apply to ensure the child’s best interests are met and/or the proper court hears the matter. This blog is written to summarize those for you to better understand questions you might want to ask your counsel. The Divorce Act. One of the most commonly applicable bodies of law is found under the Indiana Divorce Act statutes. This statute directs that ...