Relocating With Your Child after Oklahoma Divorce is possible but requires that you do certain things first. Often times, Oklahoma parents will have the opportunity to leave the state for many reasons. This could be better employment, closeness to out of state family, or other pressing reasons. However, having a custody and visitation agreement make things more complex. This is especially true when trying to maneuver through life and relocating with a child. If you have questions about Relocating with your Child after Oklahoma divorce we can help.
Oklahoma Divorce Law
Under 43 O.S. 112.2A, a parent has the right of relocating with a child. The statute specifically states:
“A parent entitled to the custody of a child has a right to change his residence, subject to the power of the district court to restrain a removal which would prejudice the rights or welfare of the child.”
So essentially, under statute, relocating with a child is a custodial parent’s right. This must not endanger or negatively affect the rights of the child though. For instance, a parent moving into a home with a convicted child molester is not ok under Oklahoma statute. This would likely result in the state barring the move, or modifying the custody and visitation order to favor the other parent.
Further, case law from across the nation holds that the custodial parent has the primary authority to decide the residence of the child. Courts also uphold the idea that after a divorce or separation, the custodial parent and the child’s relationship is the primary focus of the law. The non-custodial parent, while important, does not have the same weight to make residence decisions.
What Does that Mean for Relocating with a Child?
This means, if you are the custodial parent the loss of custody based solely on the opposing parent not wanting to lose the current visitation rights is not valid. As long as the child is put in a similar situation, the move will most likely be permissible. Further, the opportunity for the custodial parent to have a fulfilling life with the child is the primary concern. Visitation may be modified in regard to the wishes of the non-custodial party, but it is not grounds by itself to stop the move.
Family Law Legal Support
If you are facing a question involving Relocating with your child after Oklahoma divorce we can help. Oklahoma family law statute regarding relocation is specific but it may be possible. As set above its critical that the requirements of the statute are met. Your first consultation is free, so you know if you have a case before you spend money on it. Our family law attorneys have years of experience and skill in litigating family and domestic matters exactly like this. Give us a call at 918.743.2233