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Senate Bill 40 presents a new slew of child custody laws aimed at protecting non-custodial parents.
Under a new state measure that took effect at the beginning of this month, custodial or non-custodial parents who want to relocate—even if it's just down the street—must provide increased notification to the other parent 90 days prior to the move.
The law changes also allow a child to go to school in either parent's district without having to pay tuition fees to the school corporation.
According to Patti Taylor, a local Indiana family law attorney, the new bill is a broader version of the previous notification provisions and benefits non-custodial parents the most.
Provisions of Senate Bill 40
The new measure requires that a relocating parent provide at least a 90-day notification by certified mail to anyone who has had or is seeking custody of the child or to those whose visitation schedule would be affected by the move including grandparents.
The notice must have more detailed information than was previously required including the date of anticipated move, the new address, new phone number, the reason for moving, and a proposed parenting schedule.
Under the previous law, a relocating parent only had to notify the other parent if they were moving 100 miles or more away. The new law disregards distance and requires notification of every single move.
If a non-relocating parent is unhappy with the move, they may file a motion in court to prevent the child from relocating, or to modify previous child custody orders. If a motion isn't filed, the relocating parent may immediately move with the child.
Both parents are permitted to request an evidentiary hearing in which they must prove why the proposed relocation would be in the best or worst interest of the child. A court would consider the following reasons to prevent a relocation of a child: the distance of the move, the hardship or expense the move may create for the non-relocating parent, the probability of preserving the non-relocating parent/child relationship, reasons for the move, and other factors related to the best interest of the child.
Want more information on child custody laws in your state? Please contact us today to speak with a qualified and experienced family law attorney who can inform you of the laws in your state.