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Nelson v. Nelson

Court of Appeals of Indiana

June 26, 2014

TRACI NELSON, Appellant-Petitioner,
v.
TONY NELSON, Appellee-Respondent

APPEAL FROM THE JOHNSON SUPERIOR COURT. The Honorable Cynthia S. Emkes, Judge. Cause No. 41D02-0702-DR-55.

ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: DONNA JAMESON, Greenwood, Indiana.

ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: ROBERT D. HAAS, Blankenship & Haas, Indianapolis, Indiana.

RILEY, Judge. ROBB, J. and BRADFORD, J. concur.

Page 1284

OPINION

RILEY, Judge

STATEMENT OF THE CASE

Appellant-Respondent, Traci Nelson (Mother), appeals the trial court's Order denying her motion for relocation and modifying custody of her minor child, T.N. (the Child), in favor of Appellee-Petitioner, Anthony Nelson (Father).

We affirm.

ISSUE

Mother raises two issues on appeal, which we consolidate and restate as the following single issue: Whether the trial court erred by denying Mother's motion for relocation to South Carolina.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On February 28, 2005, Mother and Father were married and established their home in Indiana. On July 19, 2005, the couple welcomed the Child. After only two years of marriage, the couple separated in January 2007, and Father subsequently filed a petition to dissolve marriage. On August 9, 2007, the trial court entered a Decree of Dissolution and adopted the Settlement Agreement reached by the parties. The Decree granted both parties joint legal custody of the Child, with Mother having primary physical custody. In addition, Father was awarded parenting time on alternate weekends, from Friday 6:00 PM through Sunday 6:00 PM, and one overnight during the week.

On November 12, 2010, Mother filed a notice of intent to move to South Carolina, citing she could not obtain employment in her field of work in Indiana. Prior to filing her notice, Mother sold medical equipment for Home Health Depot, Inc., but her employment terminated on October 11, 2010. Mother's employment contract contained a non-compete clause; therefore, she could not work in a comparable field in Indiana for a period of at least one year.

On February 7, 2011, Father filed an objection to the proposed relocation. On April 19, 2011, Mother filed an amended notice of intent to move citing that she had received an offer from Tuomey Healthcare Systems (Tuomey), located in South Carolina, to work as a physical therapist, on the condition that she passed the National

Page 1285

Physical Therapist Assistant Exam. Mother also stated that she intended to move to South Carolina on May 27, 2011. On May 10, 2011, Father filed a verified response and objection to Mother's amended notice of intent to move, a motion to modify custody and address parenting time, and a motion for a hearing. Prior to the trial court's approval, Mother relocated to South Carolina. Mother, however, failed the National Physical Therapist Assistant Exam, therefore, she lost the employment opportunity with ...


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