Parents move after divorce. We are a mobile society. Sometimes, the move is for another job. Sometimes, the move is to be closer to other family members. Whatever the reason, when children are involved, the relocation of a parent after a divorce in Oklahoma can become an issue. It can make custody and visitation much more difficult. Understanding Muskogee Okla child custody relocation laws can help.
How Muskogee Okla Child Custody Laws Accommodate Relocation
Under Oklahoma law, a parent entitled to custody may relocate. For purposes of Oklahoma law, relocation means moving more than 75 miles away from the child’s principal residence for a period of 60 days or more. Okla. Stat. tit. 43 § 112.3
If the custodial parent wants to relocate more than 75 miles with the child, that parent must give written notice to the other parent. That parent can then object to the move. The court will hold a hearing to see what is in the child’s best interests. A court may restrain the removal of the child if that removal would prejudice the rights or welfare of the child. Okla. Stat. tit. 43 § 112.2A
When Relocation Of The Child Will Likely Not Be Approved
A court is likely to intervene in any situation in which the child will be made worse off by the move. Here are some examples:
- The moving parent will
- have to work significantly more hours;
- share a home with a sex offender or someone convicted of domestic abuse; or
- is acting in bad faith.
Here are some factors the court is likely to examine in making their decision on relocation:
- child’s ties to the community, especially ties with extended family and friends;
- child’s preferences, if the child is old enough;
- ability of the parents to continue meaningful contact and relationships with the child through visitation, given the parents’ circumstances;
- impact the relocation will have on the child; and
- parents’ reasons for wanting and opposing the relocation.
When it is the custodial parent seeking to relocate, the court may award the non-custodial parent custody if it finds that relocation would not be in the child’s best interests. If the custodial parent does not give enough advance notice to the parent about the relocation, the non-custodial parent can have the matter heard on an emergency basis. The court may deem the lack of sufficient notice as evidence of bad faith on the part of the custodial parent.
Ways to Deal With Relocation Efforts On The Part Of Your Ex
The law requires 60 days’ notice before a relocation. This allows the other parent to file a motion to stop the relocation of the child.
Once a motion is filed, the court must step in. Sometimes, a parent is not upfront about potential relocation. That parent risks losing custody if the court finds against them.
It is always better to be upfront about potential moves and how they may affect the other parent and the child. That means giving notice regarding the move and working with the other parent to ensure continuing contact between parent and child.
If the child is a tribal member, the matter can be brought to the appropriate tribal court. That court may choose to hear the matter or may transfer the matter to state court. Our office is admitted to practice in some tribal courts and can seek further admittance if a particular matter requires access to tribal courts.
If you have questions or concerns about a custody matter, bring them to an experienced Muskogee child custody attorney.
Free Consultation: Muskogee Child Custody Attorney
When you decide to get a divorce and have children, you may feel nervous about your child custody options. However, an experienced Muskogee child support attorney can help bring relief.
A no-cost initial consultation can help you decide whether Wirth Law Office – Muskogee can provide the best Muskogee child custody attorney for your family law matter. Call us today at 918-884-7774.