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Can I Move Out of Oklahoma to a New State with My Child Without the Other Parent’s Approval?

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Many times, after a divorce decree and child custody order, one or both parents wish to relocate out of state with their child. There are various reasons for this, such as moving to be closer to family now that the divorce is final, job opportunity that is necessary now that the parent only has one income source, or when a parent marries a new spouse and wants to relocate to their location. relocate child custody

Your child custody attorney will explain that Oklahoma has a specific statute that outlines the requirements when a parent wishes to move not just out of state, but anywhere that is more than 75 miles from their original location. This statute applies to both custodial and noncustodial parents. It can be found under 43 O.S. § 112.2 and 43 O.S. § 112.3.

Notice of Relocation

Under 43 O.S. § 112.2, the law states that the primary custodial parent has the presumptive right to relocate, subject to the family court’s discretion. The court many deny the move if the rights and welfare of the child may be compromised. Having an experienced child custody attorney can help overcome any obstacles.

The custodial or noncustodial parent must serve a Notice of Relocation to the other parent as soon as knowledge of the move is known, but no later than 60 days prior to the actual move. Your child custody attorney can help you prepare this in order to ensure proper compliance.

If 60 days is not reasonably feasible, then the parent must give notice to the other parent within 10 days of knowledge of the move.

The notice must be made in writing and contain the:

  • new address,
  • new mailing address (if different than resident address),
  • new telephone phone number,
  • date of proposed move,
  • short explanation of the specific reasons for the move, and
  • proposal for a new parenting plan or visitation schedule.

Opposition to Relocation

First, it is important to outline consequences of not following the notice requirement and remedies for the opposing party. If the parent that is relocating fails to notice the other parent may result in a prolonged court battle. This is where most parties fail, attempting to navigate the family court system without a skilled child custody attorney can result in denied orders and sanctions.

The parent not following notice requirements could have this used against them when child custody modification is at issue, be held in contempt, pay fines and attorney fees, or the failure to notice can be taken into account when assessing visitation schedules.

Next, if the other parent does follow the notice requirement, the other parent has 30 days to file an objection with the court, which is a temporary or permanent order to prevent the move. A temporary hearing is ordered first, and then the final order is made at a subsequent hearing.

Specific Relocation Reasons

Under 43 O.S. § 112.3, the steps a parent must take to file for relocation are explained as well as emphasizing that in order to relocate the reason must be in good faith.

The reason for the move is considered the most important issue in a relocation hearing and what the court will look to when determining whether the move is in good faith. The moving parent must first prove that the move is in good faith. Once this is accomplished, the burden shifts to the opposing parent to prove that the move is not in good faith.

The moving parent must show:

  • The relationship with the non-moving parent will not be impacted, including other familiar relationships such as siblings and family members
  • Significant quality, involvement, and duration of the moving parent’s relationship with the child
  • That the development, needs, physical, educational, and emotional development will not be significantly impacted
  • The financial feasibility and ease of visitation arrangements in order to preserve nonmoving parents relationship with the child
  • Child’s preference
  • Moving parent is not trying to interfere with other parents relationship with child
  • The move will enhance quality of life including educational, financial, and emotional benefits
  • Any other factor emphasizing relocation is in the child’s best interest

Free Consultation with a Tulsa Child Custody Attorney

Hiring a family child custody attorney when filing for a relocation order will ensure the process is expertly conducted and your interests are well represented, especially if the other party is seeking to oppose the move.

A child custody attorney is the best resource when a you must show that it is in your child’s best interest to relocate either out of state or seventy-five miles or move from your current home.

Contact an experienced Tulsa divorce attorney when you need to go through the Oklahoma relocation process.

For a free confidential consultation, call now: 918-924-5526.


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