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Can you stop your ex from moving your kids out of state?

On Behalf of | Jul 10, 2024 | Child Custody |

Your ex may want to relocate out of state for various reasons. Perhaps they have been offered their dream job across the country or simply want to begin the next chapter of their life in another state. Now, this would likely be okay with you, if you don’t have children together.

However, if you’re co-parents, and your ex plans to take the kids with them (either most of the time or some of the time), you may wonder if you have any say in the matter. In Indiana, the answer depends on the specifics of your custody agreement and your willingness to work together.

You have a say

The Hoosier state has stipulations that any co-parent has to abide by if they plan on moving with their children. The state understands that some moves might significantly impact the existing custody or parenting time arrangements. So, you have a say in your co-parent’s decision to move out of state. You can stop your co-parent’s move if you can demonstrate that their move might impact the children’s best interests.

Notification requirement

It can be a relief to know that your co-parent cannot just up and leave with the kids without your knowledge. The law requires your co-parent to file a Notice of Intent to Relocate at least 30 days before the move. This is to help inform the court:

  • Their reasons for relocating
  • Their new address
  • Their proposal for revising custody or parenting time

Your co-parent is also required to send you this notice to help ensure you’re aware of their intention to relocate. Upon receiving the notification, you have the liberty to object to it with valid justifications. You have 20 days after receiving the notice to file your objection. Once your objection has been filed, you and your co-parent will be required to appear at a hearing where the court will determine whether the move is in the child’s best interest.

Possible outcomes

The court can either approve the relocation or deny your co-parent’s request to move out of state with the kids. If the relocation is approved, the existing custody and parenting time arrangements will be modified accordingly. However, if your co-parent’s request to relocate is denied, your co-parent has the option of either relocating without the kids or staying within the state.

If your co-parent is contemplating relocating out of state with the kids, it is advisable to seek legal guidance to understand your rights and obligations fully. By doing so, you can make informed decisions that prioritize your child’s well-being while respecting the rights of both parents.