Child relocation laws in Oklahoma become important when a divorced parent wants to move with their child after a custody agreement is put in place. Many times when parents divorce, one party may want to leave the state. Obviously, this can cause major changes in custody arrangements. But what happens when the party that wants to leave the state with the child? Child relocation laws in Oklahoma can be a tedious and highy contentious process. It is possible though and we can help you by answering your questions.
Relocation With a Child Statutes in Oklahoma
Oklahoma family and custody law addresses relocation with a child after divorce under Title 43 §112.2(A): A parent entitled to the custody of a child has a right to change his residence….”. This means that the person with custody does have the right to move with the child. However, the second part of the statute makes the relocation with a child subject to the district courts. The courts can restrain a move if the child’s “rights or welfare” will face harm. Essentially, you cannot move a child into a home with another person who is on the Oklahoma Sex Offender Registry. This could clearly endanger the welfare of the child. In a case like this, the state would likely bar the move and may even give custody to the non-custodial parent.
NEED INFO ON EMERGENCY CUSTODY OF A CHILD? SEE OUR ARTICLE HERE.
A recent case in Oklahoma, Boatman v. Boatman, provides another level of case law involving relocation with a child. The parent choosing to relocate with the child must have primary custody of the child. A joint custody agreement does not allow one parent to remove the child without permission of the other parent. This is because the law considers joint custody as equal in decision-making power of each parent for the child. Primary custody however, gives the custodial parent more weight in decision-making power. Thus, the non-custodial parent may disapprove but cannot stop the move simply by disapproval.
What the Law Means for Relocation with a Child
The law provides that you can move with your child if you are the primary custodian or you have explicit permission from your ex-partner. If you fear losing custody because of the move you can combat this in a few ways. First you need to play fair. If you are relocating, you must give your ex-partner notice that you are leaving. This does not apply if you or your child is in danger from your ex. Second, make sure you are making the move in good faith and not solely to separate the child from the other parent. Courts view parental alienation harshly and often times will give primary custody to the parent who faces alienation. Finally, modify the custody or visitation agreement through the court so that the child and the non-relocating parent can continue a relationship.
Family Law Attorneys Can Help
If you are looking to relocate or are fighting relocation with a child, our attorneys can help. We have years of experience helping parents navigate the complex family laws related to child relocation laws in Oklahoma. Our first consultation is free. Call us today.
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