The days are past when families stayed close, when jobs were local, and an Indiana town saw several generations remaining in the same neighborhood. These days, families spread far and wide, and it is common for jobs to have national and international interests that require relocation for advancement.
Relocating for a job or other reasons may seem easy when it is only you to consider. However, if you are planning to move away with your children, you can expect to face a struggle if you share custody with the children’s other parent.
Learn the relocation process
When your children’s other parent or grandparents have legal custody or visitation rights, you may not move with the children any distance away that would disrupt those custody rights unless you have consent from those people. Without their consent, you will have to obtain a court order. To apply for such an order, you must follow the strict guidelines of Indiana law, the purpose of which is to protect the best interests of the children and the bond between the kids and their parent.
Therefore, before you make plans to move, you should learn as much as you can about the process, which may include the following steps:
- Sending written notification to the other parent and any other adults who have visitation rights
- Filing for the court’s permission to modify your custody order so you can relocate with the children
- Offering the court an alternative custody arrangement that will allow the other parties time with the children as close as possible to what the present custody order stipulates
- Assessing the cost of travel and how travel time will affect time with the children
- Providing the court and all those adults involved with details about the move, including your new address and the reason for your move
Your reasons for the move will be of great importance to the court. Since the main focus of the court is to determine the best interests of the child, the court will expect you to demonstrate how the relocation will improve the lives of the children. For example, will they attend better schools, have greater access to extended family or have better opportunities to pursue their talents? Most importantly, will those benefits outweigh the disruption to their visitation time with the other parent or grandparents?
Seeking permission to relocate with your children is a challenging and delicate matter and one you do not have to undertake alone. A compassionate attorney can guide you through this emotional process and assist you in fighting for your goals.