Changes to Indiana's Relocation Statute - Making Things A Little Easier

Senate Bill 292 was signed by Governor Holcomb yesterday, making QUITE a few changes to Indiana's Relocation Statute. The changes I am going to hit on are the ones that will really impact clients and filing.


WHO HAS TO FILE: Any custodial parent, non-custodial parent, and grandparent (who have visitation rights) must file a Notice of Relocation with the Court.


WHO HAS TO BE NOTIFIED: The relocating party must notify all individuals who have or who are seeking parenting time or visitation rights with the child(ren).


HOW TO NOTIFY/SERVICE: If there was or is a pending action before the Courts, the relocating party must notify the non-relocating parties by Indiana Rules of Trial Procedure and in writing, including e-mail/IEFS (Indiana E-Filing System). They must also send notice to a person who is not a party to an action by certified mail.


WHAT MUST BE IN NOTICE OF RELOCATION: The relocating party must provide in their Notice of Relocation: the new home address, date of relocation, reason for relocation, all telephone numbers, e-mail addresses, a statement that they do or do not believe a revision of parenting time or grandparent visitation is necessary, a statement that the person not relocating must file a response to the relocation within 20 days, a statement that the party not relocating may petition the Court to prevent the temporary or permanent relocation of a child and a statement that all current orders on custody, parenting time, grandparent visitation, and child support remain in affect until the Court modifies it. (Phew take a breath)


I saved the best news for last....


Deadlines and Distance - under the old statute, no matter how far a person was moving (even if it was just across the street) they had to file a Notice of Relocation no less than 90 days before moving. This was not practical and very hard for many parents and attorneys, to perfect. The biggest changes, that go into effect on July 1, 2019, are the following:


1. A relocating party must notify interested parties and Court no less than 30 days before moving;

2. If the move actually decreases the distance between the parties or adds 20 miles or less between the parties, the relocating party DOES NOT have to file a Notice of Relocation, but simply provide the new address, telephone numbers, and e-mail address to the interested parties no less than 30 days before moving.

3. However, the relocation must allow the child(ren) to remain in their current school district;


This change had made it easier for the relocating party, but has actually added a requirement for the non-relocating party. A response must now be filed by the non relocating party within 20 days of receiving notice of the relocation, whether they object or not to the move. If a party is objecting, they must make sure they request a hearing and not just wait for the Court to set a hearing.


While this new law has simplified the relocation rules, it will take time to adjust to and ensure all parties are receiving proper notice. Make sure you speak with an attorney and just remember 30 days before moving and 20 days when responding.


Link below to review new relocation bill/statute:

http://iga.in.gov/legislative/2019/bills/senate/292#document-1df52aaf



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