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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. From his recent appearance on WRTV to this story here, Frank is everywhere. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy, although he should stop using Eric Schnauffer for his 7th Circuit briefs. They're not THAT hard.

  2. They learn our language prior to coming here. My grandparents who came over on the boat, had to learn English and become familiarize with Americas customs and culture. They are in our land now, speak ENGLISH!!

  3. @ Rebecca D Fell, I am very sorry for your loss. I think it gives the family solace and a bit of closure to go to a road side memorial. Those that oppose them probably did not experience the loss of a child or a loved one.

  4. If it were your child that died maybe you'd be more understanding. Most of us don't have graves to visit. My son was killed on a state road and I will be putting up a memorial where he died. It gives us a sense of peace to be at the location he took his last breath. Some people should be more understanding of that.

  5. Can we please take notice of the connection between the declining state of families across the United States and the RISE OF CPS INVOLVEMENT??? They call themselves "advocates" for "children's rights", however, statistics show those children whom are taken from, even NEGLIGENT homes are LESS likely to become successful, independent adults!!! Not to mention the undeniable lack of respect and lack of responsibility of the children being raised today vs the way we were raised 20 years ago, when families still existed. I was born in 1981 and I didn't even ever hear the term "CPS", in fact, I didn't even know they existed until about ten years ago... Now our children have disagreements between friends and they actually THREATEN EACH OTHER WITH, "I'll call CPS" or "I'll have [my parent] (usually singular) call CPS"!!!! And the truth is, no parent is perfect and we all have flaws and make mistakes, but it is RIGHTFULLY OURS - BY THE CONSTITUTION OF THIS GREAT NATION - to be imperfect. Let's take a good look at what kind of parenting those that are stealing our children are doing, what kind of adults are they producing? WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENS TO THE CHILDREN THAT HAVE BEEN RIPPED FROM THEIR FAMILY AND THAT CHILD'S SUCCESS - or otherwise - AS AN ADULT.....

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