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COA affirms order that child should remain in Indiana with father

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Although the trial court erred in concluding that a Johnson County mother did not relocate to South Carolina for legitimate reasons, the court correctly ordered her son to remain in Indiana with his father, the Indiana Court of Appeals held.

Traci Nelson, after being let go from her medical sales job, sought employment in South Carolina due to a non-compete clause in her previous job’s contract. She chose South Carolina because she had a job opportunity and family in that state. In 2010 she filed a notice with the court that she would move to South Carolina, and she made the move with her five-year-old son before the court approved.

Tony Nelson was awarded temporary custody in 2011 and then sole physical custody after a hearing in 2013. Traci Nelson was awarded parenting time. The trial court found her relocation was not made in good faith and the move is not in the best interest of the child.

In Traci Nelson v. Tony Nelson, 41A01-1309-DR-424, the Court of Appeals held the lower court erred in concluding Traci Nelson didn’t move in good faith. It pointed to evidence she presented that she had many family members – including her parents – in South Carolina and that she would be able to help take care of her ailing mother. The judges also pointed to her attempts to start a new career in the state as a physical therapist.

But the trial court was correct in ordering their son to remain in Indiana with his father, the judges ruled. The 10-hour drive one-way would diminish the father-son bond, the boy had family in Indiana, and he wanted to live with his father. The trial court’s conclusion that the Relocation Statute factors disfavored relocation and merit a change in custody to father was not clearly erroneous, the COA ruled.
 

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  1. Hail to our Constitutional Law Expert in the Executive Office! “What you’re not paying attention to is the fact that I just took an action to change the law,” Obama said.

  2. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  3. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  4. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  5. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

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