Your divorce in Indiana certainly brings with it a degree of finality. However, life does go on for both you and your ex-spouse. Part of that may include the opportunity to move away from the state to either pursue a new relationship, to be closer to immediate family members or to follow your career ambitions.
When you have children with your ex-spouse, however, relocating becomes difficult. The court may not necessarily bar you from moving; it can, however, restrict you from taking your kids with you (at least not without first drastically altering your custody arrangement).
Providing notice of an intended relocation
The law requires that you notify all parties with an interest in your custody arrangement (including the court) of your intent to relocate. The court will then typically hold a hearing to determine the impact your move will have on your current custody agreement. According to Indiana’s Family Law and Juvenile Law Code, factors the court consider when making this determination include:
- Where you intend to relocate to (specifically how far away it is)
- The challenges your move may place on your ex-spouse in maintaining a consistent presence in your kids’ lives
- Whether there is any history of you attempting to block your ex-spouse’s access to the kids
- The reason your wish to relocate (and your ex-spouse’s reasons for challenging the relocation
Maintaining control of your custody agreement
You can maintain some degree of control over any changes to your custody arrangement. Working with your ex-spouse to come up with an amended agreement that you both find agreeable may allow you to do so. The court often will reward your collaborative efforts by approving your recommendations and making your revised agreement formal.