Relocation of Children in Oklahoma
What are your rights if you want to move out of state with your child(ren)?
Oklahoma family law presumes it is in the best interest of every child to have a strong continuous relationship with both parents: moms and dads. Therefore, you must give notice to your former spouse, the other parent of your child, prior to moving with your child(ren) out of state. You must provide notice at the earliest time possible. Your ex-spouse or the other parent of your child has the right to seek Court order to stop you from moving out of state with the child(ren). At the hearing, the Court will decide whether the proposed move is being made in good faith or whether it is an attempt to deprive you or your ex of visitation or physical custody of your child(ren).
What notice is required prior to moving with children out of state?
The notice required prior to moving out of Oklahoma with you child(ren) must include the specific requirements found in OKLA. STAT. tit. 43 § 112.3, in order to comply with Oklahoma family law. The law requires among other things:
A. The relocating part shall mail (or serve in the manner provided for service of summons) a Notice of Intent to Relocate containing the following information in writing to the other party, and any other person entitled to visitation with the child, on the terms set out herein:
a. The intended new address, including the specific address, if known:
b. The new mailing address, if not the same;
c. The home telephone number, if known;
d. The date of the intended move or proposed relocation;
e. A brief statement of the specific reasons for the proposed relocation of the children, if applicable; and
f. A proposal for a revised schedule of visitation with the children, if any.
B. The relocating party shall give notice of the proposed relocation of the children or the proposed change of the party’s residence address to the other party on or before the sixtieth (60th) day before the proposed change. If the relocating party did not know and could not have reasonably known of the change in sufficient time to provide a sixty-day notice, then such party shall give notice of the change on or before the tenth day after the date he or she knows of the change.
C. The obligation of a party to give the notices and to provide the information set out herein shall continue so long as that party is entitled to custody of, or visitation with, a child covered by this order.
D. The failure of a party to give notice and to provide the information set out herein may result in further litigation to enforce the order, including contempt of court.
E. The failure of a party to notify of a relocation of the child may be taken into account in a modification of custody, of visitation with, possession of, or access to, the child. The Court may assess reasonable attorney fees and costs against a party who fails to give the required notice.
F. If a party who receives notice of the intent of the other party to relocate the residence of a child does not file, within thirty (30) days after receipt of notice, a proceeding seeking a temporary or permanent order to prevent the relocation, the relocation is authorized.
What rights do you have when your ex decides to move out of state with your child(ren)?
You may seek assistance through the Court exercising jurisdiction over child custody in your case by filing an objection. However, it is crucial you act as soon as possible to avoid waiving your right to object. You are entitled to a hearing in Court. You may be able to have your ex forced to return to Oklahoma, return the child(ren) to Oklahoma, or seek contempt of Court for violating OKLA. STAT. tit. 43 § 112.3, which should be an existing order in your custody case.
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