In order to have a court hear an Oklahoma divorce or paternity case, one must establish proper jurisdiction. This begs the question, where do I file my Tulsa divorce? In family law legal matters, there are two types of jurisdiction. The first is subject matter jurisdiction.This means whether the court has the authority to hear this type of case. Certain Court have the authority to hear certain types of cases. The second is personal jurisdiction. This looks at whether the court has authority over the parties. When it comes to Oklahoma family law, any district court will have subject matter jurisdiction. This doesn’t however include personal jurisdiction.
Personal Jurisdiction and How it Impacts Where You File Divorce:
What personal jurisdiction boils down to, is where is the most appropriate county in which to file an Oklahoma divorce. To file a divorce in Oklahoma, at least one party needs to be a resident of the state. Living in Oklahoma for at least six months establishes residency. County residency or venue requires 30 days in the county. An example, if Husband wanted to divorce Wife, and Husband had just moved to Texas two weeks ago, but Wife still lives in Tulsa, then the appropriate place for Husband to file for a Tulsa divorce is in Tulsa County.
Where to file gets a bit more confusing when it includes minor children. In a divorce, again the residency requirements are important, but the county and state where the children currently live may control where to file the divorce. The same is true for paternity actions as well. For example: if the mother and child have been living in Tulsa for the past year but father has been living in Oklahoma City for the past two years, the appropriate place would be to file the divorce case would be Tulsa. However, if the parents were both living in Tulsa for the past year, but the mother moved with the child to Coffeeville, Kansas forty-five days ago, the most appropriate place for either father or mother to file their family law case would be with Tulsa County.
Can I Transfer The Divorce After Filing It:
This is not to say that the county where the case was initially filed will ultimately be the county where the case remains. Situations can arise where transferring the divorce or paternity action to another county is appropriate. Further, if the need for an emergency custody arises, the appropriate place to file that emergency is in the county where the emergency took place; not necessarily where the underlying and operative order initially came about. If an emergency is then granted, then the party granted the emergency could potentially have the underlying case transferred to the county and even state where they currently reside.
Additionally, Oklahoma has codified the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) into it’s own divorce laws. The UCCJEA is a nationally comprised act. It purposely establishes common laws between states regarding appropriate initial child custody jurisdiction. This also includes continuing jurisdiction regarding children and appropriate jurisdiction when modifying orders involving the custody.
Contact Our Tulsa Divorce Attorneys:
If you have questions regarding where to file a divorce in Tulsa contact Tulsa Divorce Attorneys and Associates Today. Call 539-302-0303 or come see us at 5319 South Lewis Ave. in Tulsa, Oklahoma
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