This is the first in a series of family law posts that will address relocation. A common and unintentional misstep made by individuals with children occurs when they move. If you have children and intend to move, it is important to be aware of an Indiana law applying to your situation.
Filing an Intent to Relocate
In the event that an individual intends to change residences, the relocating parent must file a formal notification of such intent to relocate with the court and properly serve a copy of such on the other parent. This notice must be filed not less than 90 days prior to the move (though less time may be approved by the court under certain circumstances). This law applies even if you move across the street.
What Information is in the Notice of Intent to Relocate?
- The address of your intended new residence;
- The home telephone number of the new residence;
- Any other applicable telephone number for the relocating individual (e.g. cell phone);
- The date that the relocating individual intends to move;
- A brief statement of the specific reasons for the proposed relocation of the child;
- A proposal for a revised schedule of parenting time or grandparent visitation with the child;
- A statement that a parent must file an objection to the relocation of the child with the court not later than sixty (60) days after receipt of the notice; and
- A statement that a nonrelocating individual may file a petition to modify a custody order, parenting time order, grandparent visitation order, or child support order.
Explanation as to Why You are Moving
The most important paragraphs are (5) and (6). The “brief statement” referenced in paragraph (5) need not be a lengthy explanation as to why you are moving. For purposes of potential future litigation, though, it is important that you or your attorney pay attention to this requirement. Your reason for moving is likely to involve one or more of the following: better job, bigger/smaller house, lowering of expenses, closer to family. If there are multiple reasons for the move, then each should be referenced in the Notice.
Whether your relocation will necessitate a change in parenting time (paragraph (6) above) will likely determine whether there will be an objection to your proposed move. For instance, if you are staying in the same school district, then it is unlikely the parenting time schedule would need to change. If, however, you are moving anywhere from 30 minutes to 30 miles away or more, then a change in the parenting time schedule may be required. If that is the case, then the Notice must set forth your proposal for a modified parenting time schedule.
Overall, it is advisable to seek the assistance of counsel if you are relocating. First, it is important to make sure that your Notice of Intent to Relocate is compliant with the law. Second, and more importantly, it is important to assess the likelihood of success of overcoming an objection to your proposed relocation. Otherwise, you may make plans for a move that have to be changed.
In our next family law post, we’ll discuss litigation related to a Notice of Intent to Relocate and how to prepare for a hearing on your proposed relocation. For more information, please go to our discussion of relocation. Call ROBERTS MEANS, LLC today at (317) 353-3600 or contact us via email.