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Court affirms boy should stay in Indiana with father

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Noting that its decision should not be viewed as a punishment for either parent, a trial court denied a mother’s request to move to California with  her son and ordered the boy remain in Indiana with his father. The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed Friday, finding the father presented evidence that supported the trial court’s decision.

Allison DeCloedt and Shane Wagaman divorced in 2011 when H.W. was two years old. DeCloedt had sole physical and legal custody of the boy with Wagaman exercising parenting time. DeCloedt remarried in July 2013 and told the court she planned to relocate to California, where her husband moved for work. Wagaman objected and, after a hearing in which the trial judge said it “preferred not to make a decision at all,” the trial court granted Wagaman’s petition to modify custody so that H.W. remained in Indiana and DeCloedt would exercise parenting time.

In a case that the Court of Appeals referred to as a “close case,” the judges affirmed. Both parents testified the other was a very good parent and there were never any issues with support or visitation prior to DeCloedt’s relocation. The trial court found that her relocation was in good faith and that father proved the proposed relocation is not in H.W.’s best interests.

 The appeals judges agreed, pointing to the numerous family members H.W. has in Indiana and his current relationship with them. They rejected mother’s argument that all other things being equal, her role as primary caregiver during H.W.’s life takes precedence over the other factors the dissolution court was to consider.

 “[T]he dissolution court was forced to make a very difficult decision. In the end, the dissolution court found that it is in H.W.’s best interests to stay in Indiana with his Father and future stepsiblings, with both sets of grandparents and cousins living nearby,” wrote Judge Edward Najam in Allison I. (Wagaman) DeCloedt v. Shane C. Wagaman, 92A03-1401-DR-39.
 

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  1. I have had an ongoing custody case for 6 yrs. I should have been the sole legal custodial parent but was a victim of a vindictive ex and the system biasedly supported him. He is an alcoholic and doesn't even have a license for two yrs now after his 2nd DUI. Fast frwd 6 yrs later my kids are suffering poor nutritional health, psychological issues, failing in school, have NO MD and the GAL could care less, DCS doesn't care. The child isn't getting his ADHD med he needs and will not succeed in life living this way. NO one will HELP our family.I tried for over 6 yrs. The judge called me an idiot for not knowing how to enter evidence and the last hearing was 8 mths ago. That in itself is unjust! The kids want to be with their Mother! They are being alienated from her and fed lies by their Father! I was hit in a car accident 3 yrs ago and am declared handicapped myself. Poor poor way to treat the indigent in Indiana!

  2. The Indiana DOE released the 2015-2016 school grades in Dec 2016 and my local elementary school is a "C" grade school. Look at the MCCSC boundary maps and how all of the most affluent neighborhoods have the best performance. It is no surprise that obtaining residency in the "A" school boundaries cost 1.5 to 3 times as much. As a parent I should have more options than my "C" school without needing to pay the premium to live in the affluent parts of town. If the charter were authorized by a non-religious school the plaintiffs would still be against it because it would still be taking per-pupil money from them. They are hiding behind the guise of religion as a basis for their argument when this is clearly all about money and nothing else.

  3. This is a horrible headline. The article is about challenging the ability of Grace College to serve as an authorizer. 7 Oaks is not a religiously affiliated school

  4. Congratulations to Judge Carmichael for making it to the final three! She is an outstanding Judge and the people of Indiana will benefit tremendously if/when she is chosen.

  5. The headline change to from "religious" to "religious-affiliated" is still inaccurate and terribly misleading.

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