ILNews

COA upholds mother’s relocation to Illinois

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A trial court’s decision to allow a mother and her two children to move to Illinois after marrying her fiancé was not an abuse of discretion by the court because the father didn’t show how the move would have a negative effect on the children.

Kyle and Ara Dixon divorced in 2007, with Ara Dixon having physical custody of the parties’ children and Kyle Dixon receiving parenting time. In 2011, the mother filed notice of intent to relocate to Illinois due to her plans to get remarried and live with her new husband, who worked in Illinois.

Kyle Dixon is remarried and has one son with his new wife and two stepchildren. He participated in many activities with the children because of his flexible work schedule. It would take about three hours to drive to Ara Dixon’s new home in Illinois, but she testified that she’d be willing to continue alternating weekends with the father, allow the children to be in Indiana for holidays and accommodate extra parenting time when appropriate.

The trial court found that the mother’s desire to relocate was made in good faith and for a legitimate reason. The judge granted her request to relocate, which effectively denied Kyle Dixon’s motion to modify custody.

The children’s schedule will not change much due to the relocation, the Court of Appeals noted in Kyle W. Dixon v. Ara J. Dixon, 34A05-1206-DR-303, and Kyle Dixon didn’t present any expert testimony to show how the move would have a negative effect on the kids. The judges also weren’t persuaded by his argument that the relocation may cause conflicts with his ability to engage in parenting time with his children with Ara Dixon as the schedule of his son with his second wife may conflict with trips to see the children in Illinois.

The appellate court found the trial judge considered the factors set out in Indiana Code 31-17-2.2-1(b) in making its determination.

 

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  1. Whether you support "gay marriage" or not is not the issue. The issue is whether the SCOTUS can extract from an unmentionable somewhere the notion that the Constitution forbids government "interference" in the "right" to marry. Just imagine time-traveling to Philadelphia in 1787. Ask James Madison if the document he and his fellows just wrote allowed him- or forbade government to "interfere" with- his "right" to marry George Washington? He would have immediately- and justly- summoned the Sergeant-at-Arms to throw your sorry self out into the street. Far from being a day of liberation, this is a day of capitulation by the Rule of Law to the Rule of What's Happening Now.

  2. With today's ruling, AG Zoeller's arguments in the cases of Obamacare and Same-sex Marriage can be relegated to the ash heap of history. 0-fer

  3. She must be a great lawyer

  4. Ind. Courts - "Illinois ranks 49th for how court system serves disadvantaged" What about Indiana? A story today from Dave Collins of the AP, here published in the Benton Illinois Evening News, begins: Illinois' court system had the third-worst score in the nation among state judiciaries in serving poor, disabled and other disadvantaged members of the public, according to new rankings. Illinois' "Justice Index" score of 34.5 out of 100, determined by the nonprofit National Center for Access to Justice, is based on how states serve people with disabilities and limited English proficiency, how much free legal help is available and how states help increasing numbers of people representing themselves in court, among other issues. Connecticut led all states with a score of 73.4 and was followed by Hawaii, Minnesota, New York and Delaware, respectively. Local courts in Washington, D.C., had the highest overall score at 80.9. At the bottom was Oklahoma at 23.7, followed by Kentucky, Illinois, South Dakota and Indiana. ILB: That puts Indiana at 46th worse. More from the story: Connecticut, Hawaii, Minnesota, Colorado, Tennessee and Maine had perfect 100 scores in serving people with disabilities, while Indiana, Georgia, Wyoming, Missouri and Idaho had the lowest scores. Those rankings were based on issues such as whether interpretation services are offered free to the deaf and hearing-impaired and whether there are laws or rules allowing service animals in courthouses. The index also reviewed how many civil legal aid lawyers were available to provide free legal help. Washington, D.C., had nearly nine civil legal aid lawyers per 10,000 people in poverty, the highest rate in the country. Texas had the lowest rate, 0.43 legal aid lawyers per 10,000 people in poverty. http://indianalawblog.com/archives/2014/11/ind_courts_illi_1.html

  5. A very thorough opinion by the federal court. The Rooker-Feldman analysis, in particular, helps clear up muddy water as to the entanglement issue. Looks like the Seventh Circuit is willing to let its district courts cruise much closer to the Indiana Supreme Court's shorelines than most thought likely, at least when the ADA on the docket. Some could argue that this case and Praekel, taken together, paint a rather unflattering picture of how the lower courts are being advised as to their duties under the ADA. A read of the DOJ amicus in Praekel seems to demonstrate a less-than-congenial view toward the higher echelons in the bureaucracy.

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