“My Spouse is Abusive to Me and Mean to the Kids. Can I Move Out and Home With My Parents in A Nearby State and File for Divorce There?”
No. This is often a consideration of a stressed parent. Yet, though this might well provide a healthier environment for everyone involved, this may not have the best legal effect in the long term. There are a few legal issues in play as it relates to moving between states in a divorce situation.
In the 1960s and 1970s, the practice was somewhat common. But these divorce and custody cases wreaked havoc and were really unfair to some parents. Since that time, all of the states have adopted residency requirements for divorce. These require the court in the place where you currently live to hear the case, and exclude a place where you could move and file.
Also, there is a legal provision (the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act or UCCJA) that requires child-custody litigation to be brought and continue in the child’s home state. Typically, this is where the child has lived with the parents during the preceding six months. This state keeps the custody case even after the divorce as long as a parent lives there.
A parent can move to another state, and he or she has a constitutional right to do so. However, if this parent takes the kids with them, it is going to get him or her off to a very bad start with the Court in Indiana. Almost without a doubt, the Indiana court will require the children to be returned and left with the other parent during the divorce and custody trial.
Such parent and children, who are in an unhealthy situation, do have a significant number of legal tools available to them under Indiana law. These include child protective services (CPS), protective orders, law enforcement, and a divorce filing requesting a preliminary hearing and exclusive possession of the marital home and maintenance to live. A good divorce lawyer can help you explore the use of these legal tools.