There are a lot of words divorced parents use to describe their co-parenting experience. It can be an emotionally taxing and time-consuming experience. It can also be the best thing that ever happened to you following the breakdown of the relationship. But what do you do if your ex decides to move out of state with your child?
Of course, this can be devastating news. The good news, however, is that you do not have to sit back and watch your ex have their way. Indiana child custody laws take the best interests of the child extremely seriously when deciding the child’s post-divorce living arrangements.
Here are two things you need to know if your ex wants to leave the state with your child:
1. Your input counts and you can contest the move
A court-sanctioned custody and visitation order is binding. Thus, your ex can’t simply take off with the child to distant parts if that affects your rights to parenting time. Doing so without the court’s nod amounts to contempt, and there are consequences for this.
Like most things regarding child custody and living arrangements, there is a process to follow, and you do have recourse. If you have any objection to the child’s relocation, you need to raise it during the hearing about the relocation and any modification of custody requests.
2. The move needs to be in the child’s best interests
Sometimes, your ex might have a valid reason for moving. However, if that reason does not align with the child’s best interests, then the court may not allow the move.
For instance, your ex may want to move for a better job, but if your child needs special education services that they wouldn’t be able to obtain in their new school district, that could be a valid reason to deny the relocation request and place the child in your primary physical custody.
Find out how you can protect your parenting rights and your child’s best interests if your ex is planning to relocate.