Moving Your Child Out Of State After Divorce

by Zach Waxman on October 25, 2013

Relocating After a Final Oklahoma Divorce Decree

Even though a final decree of divorce or paternity has been entered, as long as the child or children are under the age of 18 (and have yet to graduate high school), the provisions of child support, legal custody and visitation are never really finalized or exempt from the other parent bringing an order modification.

Life circumstances can always change, which the laws and Family Law Courts in Oklahoma understand.  For example, the laws in Oklahoma have specific instructions for a parent that wants to move and relocate with the parties’ minor child.

The relevant Oklahoma Family Law statute provides that if a parent wants to move more than 75 miles from their current location and take the minor child with them, they would need to provide the other parent with the following:

  • notice of the proposed relocation by mail to the non moving parent not later than 60 days before the intended move or the tenth day after the date that the person knows the date of the intended move, if that person did not know and could not reasonably have known the information in sufficient time to comply with the sixty-day notice, and it is not reasonably possible to extend the time for relocation of the child.

  • notice of the intended new residence, including the specific address, if known,

  • notice of any new home telephone number, if known,

  • the date of the intended move or proposed relocation,

  • a brief statement of the specific reasons for the proposed relocation of a child

  • proposal for a revised schedule of visitation with the child, if any, and

  • a warning to the non-relocating parent that an objection to the relocation must be made within thirty (30) days or the relocation will be permitted

While according to the Family law statute in Oklahoma a person entitled to custody of a child may relocate the principal residence of a child after providing notice, just providing the required notice from above may no longer be enough, depending on your legal custody agreement.   The Court in Caber v. Dahle  held that relocation statute, “does not authorize relocation by a person with temporary or joint custody of that child; rather, it requires that the applicant be “[t]he person entitled to custody”.

The court holding now changes a lot.  Only a parent with sole legal custody can request a relocation under the statute.  If the parents are operating under joint legal custody, the parent hoping to relocate must now first seek to terminate the joint custody plan and seek to modify the previous custody and visitation orders prior to asking for a relocation.

The standard now becomes not only was notice give properly and whether or not a proposed relocation would be in the child’s best interest, but whether or not there have been permanent, substantial and material change of conditions that would necessitate a change in custody

For a free family law consultation with a Tulsa Family Law attorney call for an appointment

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