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Why Is It So Hard To Relocate When You Have Custody?

Custody of a child is a very important and sometime contentious matter in family law matters, such as dissolution and paternity cases. When both parties live in close proximity to each other and the custodial parent wishes to move a good distance away, which will impact the non-relocating parent’s parenting time, the matter frequently becomes contested.

In a recent decision from the Court of Appeals, that affirmed the trial court’s order, the trial court allowed a parent to move within a 100 miles of the custodial parent’s home town. The Court opined that this would still allow the non-custodial parent to remain involved in the child’s activities that the non-custodial parent had been involved with for several years.

Essentially, the trial court’s concerns for relocation are based upon maintaining the relationship between the non-custodial parent and the child. There are factors that the Court considers from the Jarrell1 case when they consider a proposed relocation:

  • The distance involved in the proposed change of residence.
  • The hardship and expense for the non-relocating individual to exercise parenting time.
  • The feasibility of preserving the relationship between the non-relocating parent and the child through suitable parenting time arrangements, including the financial circumstances of the parties.
  • Whether there is an established pattern of conduct, to either promote or thwart the non-relocating parent’s contact with the child.
  • The reasons (a) provided by the relocating parent for seeking relocation; and (b) the non-relocating parent for opposing relocation of the child.
  • Other factors affecting the best interest of the child.

The Court also looks to the statutory factors in Indiana Code Section 31-17-2.2-1(b).

We hope you find this information useful in understanding the relocation issues in custody matters. This blog post is written by attorneys at Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. and is for general educational purposes only. It is not legal advice, or solicitation for legal services. Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. attorneys handle civil and criminal matters and appeals from all Indiana state trial courts.


  1. Jarrell v. Jarrell, 5 N.E.3d 1186,1190 ( Ind. Ct. App. 2014), trans.denied.
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Ciyou & Dixon, P.C., is a law firm located in Indianapolis, Indiana. We serve clients in six core practice areas: family lawappellate practicefirearms lawgeneral practicepersonal injury and criminal law.

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Based in Indianapolis and founded in 1995, Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. is a niche law firm focused on successfully dealing with the complexities of divorce, high-conflict child custody and family law. Known for their ability to solve extremely complex situations with high quality work and responsiveness, Ciyou & Dixon will guide you every step of the way. The family law attorneys at Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. will help you precisely identify your objectives and the means to reach your desired result. In addition, this practice focus is augmented by the firm's other three core areas, namely appellate advocacy, civil practice, and firearms law. Life is uncertain. Be certain of your counselSM.

Indianapolis Divorce Attorneys, Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. of Indianapolis, Indiana, offers legal services for Indianapolis, Zionsville, Noblesville, Carmel, Avon, Anderson, Danville, Greenwood, Brownsburg, Geist, Fortville, McCordsville, Muncie, Greenfield, Westfield, Fort Wayne, Fishers, Bloomington, Lafayette, Marion County, Hamilton County, Hendricks County, Allen County, Delaware County, Morgan County, Hendricks County, Boone County, Vigo County, Johnson County, Hancock County, and Tippecanoe County, Indiana.