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Family Law, Military Divorce, Professional License Defense In Carmel, Indiana

When does a parent’s move in Indiana require pre-approval?

On Behalf of | Aug 27, 2023 | family law

People generally expect to have as much control over their day-to-day lives and long-term personal choices as anyone can. For example, parents typically expect to have the legal authority to make choices about how their minor children live, such as what schools they attend and where they live.

Yet, certain family circumstances can impose restrictions on people’s options. For example, someone who has minor children and who shares parenting time with their children’s other parent cannot necessarily decide to move without either getting the support of the other parent or the approval of the Indiana family courts. Broadly speaking, relocations or parental move-away scenarios are subject to certain limitations and family court oversight in certain situations.

When does a move require approval?

The Indiana State statutes governing parental relocation will often apply to moves that will take the children out of the state. They will also apply in situations where one parent wants to move if the distance between their home and the home of the other parents will be 20 miles or more than the current distance. Moves that will change what schools they attend will also require approval.

The farther apart the parents live, the more custody exchanges become and the harder it is for the other parents to play an active role in the day-to-day lives of the children. Sometimes, a relocation that is just over the limit won’t but won’t create any major challenges for the other parent, which means that they will readily agree to approve the relocation. Other times, the distance will be enough to necessitate change but the parents can cooperate to work out a new agreement.

If the courts must rule on the matter because the other parent does not approve of the relocation request, the necessity of the move and the best interests of the children will determine what the judge decides is the best solution. They can approve the relocation and modify the division of parenting time accordingly or make adjustments based on the decision to not allow the children to relocate with the parent requesting the move.

Understanding the rules that apply in challenging custody scenarios in Indiana may benefit those who are worried about how changing life circumstances may affect their co-parenting arrangements and their parenting rights generally.