In order to have a court hear your Oklahoma divorce or paternity case, you must establish proper jurisdiction. In legal matters, there are two types of jurisdiction. The first subject matter jurisdiction: does the court have the authority to make a ruling regarding the type of case. The second is personal jurisdiction, that is does the court authority over the parties. When it comes to Oklahoma family law matters, any district court will have subject matter jurisdiction. Personal jurisdiction is not that cut and dry.
What personal jurisdiction boils down to, is does the party have the required contacts with the state. Certain contacts with the State must exist in order to have personal jurisdiction. In order to file a divorce in Oklahoma at least one party needs to have established residency in the state. Living in the State of Oklahoma for at least six month establishes residency. You must also live in the county for at least thirty days prior to the filing the divorce. So as an example, if Husband wanted to divorce Wife, and Husband just moved to Texas two weeks ago, but Wife still lived in Tulsa the appropriate place for Husband to file is Tulsa County.
Where Do I File Divorce and When I Have Children:
Where do I file divorce gets a bit more confusing when there are children. Again the residency requirements are important. However, the county and state where the children currently live may control where the divorce’s filing location. 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 case is filed in 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 is Tulsa County. Although the case initiates in one county, it does not require the case remains there.
You may also find our article on relocating with children after a divorce interesting.
Situations can arise where it’s appropriate for the case to transfer to another county. Further, if the need for an emergency custody arises, the appropriate place to file is in the county where the emergency took place. This can differ from where an order first established. 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 with the purpose of establishing common laws between states regarding appropriate initial child custody jurisdiction, continuing jurisdiction regarding children and appropriate jurisdiction when modifying orders involving the custody of minor children.
Contact a Divorce Attorney For Information:
If you wonder where do I file divorce in Tulsa? Or even a paternity or family law action, it is best to contact an Oklahoma Family law attorney. We offer a Free family law consultation and will meet with you withing 24 hours. Call our Tulsa Family Attorneys today 539-302-0303
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