Child Custody & State Lines in Indiana
- The goal of Indiana's UCCJA provision is to eliminate jurisdictional shopping, where a parent might try to seize the child and flee Indiana to a jurisdiction with more favorable custody rules. Under the UCCJA, mere presence of the child within a state is insufficient grounds for that state to make child custody determinations, particularly when the child was moved without court approval by the original state.
Analysis Under the UCCJA
- The UCCJA requires the Indiana court and the state to which a parent moves to consider the "significant connection" test to make an analysis as to which state's rules should apply. If a parent can prove closer connections to Indiana than the other parent has to a new jurisdiction, then Indiana rules and regulations will apply.
Moving as a Parent
- Under Indiana's UCCJA provision, Code 31-17-2-2, all individuals seeking custody who wish to relocate residence must provide notice to all parties who may seek child custody or visitation, including extended relatives such as grandparents. The notice must provide detailed information on the new address, contact information, the date of the move, and the reason for making the move. Both custodial and non-custodial parents must provide this notice for any proposed move.
Parental Kidnapping Prevention
- If a parent takes a child out of Indiana without permission, or by failing to comply with Indiana regulations regarding notice, or in violation of an existing parenting time order, such action can be treated as kidnapping, which will negate any child support, visitation or parenting time orders which benefited the parent who has fled. Exclusive and continuing jurisdiction remains with the original state in these circumstances.