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Non-custodial parents and filing a response about relocation

On Behalf of | Sep 7, 2023 | Child Custody

Parental relocation can be a difficult issue after an Indiana couple ends their relationship. The custodial parent might have very good reasons for wanting to relocate with the child.

However, the non-custodial parent also has rights. After the relocation request has been made, the non-custodial parent must give the court a response. They have several options.

Key points about a relocation response

Whether the non-custodial parent objects to the relocation, has some concerns about it but is flexible, or plans to agree to it, they should know of their right to file a response.

After the custodial parent serves notice of the planned relocation, the non-custodial parent will have 20 days to file that response.

There are three options with the response.

  • First, they can give a statement that says they do not object to the relocation nor do they request that the custody, parenting time, child support or grandparent visitation be modified.
  • Second, they can state that they do not object to the relocation but do want the above factors modified because of it. They can ask for a hearing to address these issues.
  • Third, they can try to stop the relocation and ask for a hearing regarding custody, parenting time, child support and grandparent visitation.

Agreements and disagreements

In some cases, the parents agree to the relocation on their own. In these instances, the response does not need to be filed. The sides must have a signed agreement that:

  • must be executed and filed with the court; and
  • should have all the relevant information about parenting time and support.

When there is a disagreement, the parents must state if they have tried mediation or other strategies to resolve it. Either side can ask for an evidentiary hearing on allowing or preventing the proposed relocation.

The relocating parent must prove that it is being done in good faith, is justified and serves the child’s best interests. The non-custodial parent who is objecting to the relocation must show that it is not in the child’s best interests. Failing to file a response will automatically allow the custodial parent to relocate.

Know the importance of a relocation response

Not every relocation request is contentious, but there are likely lingering concerns from every perspective. Before getting into a child custody and parenting time dispute, knowing how to file a response and what can be addressed is a useful step to try and achieve an acceptable resolution.