In the United States, individuals have the constitutional right to travel and freedom of movement. However, the relocation of minor children in Oklahoma or elsewhere by one parent can impact the parental relationship and rights of the other parent. Oklahoma law sets out specific rules controlling when and how one parent may seek to relocate minor children, and the law requires that those rules about relocation of minor children must be specifically stated in every custody order and decree so the parents know some of their basic parental rights and responsibilities related to a potential relocation of their children.
The Tulsa family law firm of Fry & Elder knows that the relocation of minor children in Oklahoma disputes often are very complicated and fact-sensitive. A parent’s ability to relocate a minor child may be impacted by the terms of their child custody order, including whether or not one parent has sole custody of the child or if the parents share joint legal custody of the child.
If I am the custodial parent, can I move my kids out of state with me?
Oklahoma’s family statutes set out specific rules for a parent seeking to relocate minor children. In addition to those statutes, there are a significant number of Oklahoma appellate cases interpreting the family statutes and providing more guidance to judges about relocation of minor children. Generally, if you are a custodial parent and desire to relocate your minor child more than 75 miles away from the child’s principal residence, you must give the other parent written notice of the desired relocation. The law requires you to include specific information in the written notice. You should consult with a relocation trial lawyer before you prepare or send a notice on your own. When the other parent receives a properly-written and properly-served notice of desired relocation, that parent has a limited amount of time to file an objection to the relocation in court. If no objection is made by the other parent, you may relocate the child. If a timely objection is filed by the other parent, you will likely need an Oklahoma trial lawyer to assist you with making your case for relocation.
Can my children be taken to live out of state by their other parent?
If the other parent has sent you a notice of relocation of your minor child, you should consult with a relocation trial lawyer at your very earliest opportunity. You are entitled to object to the proposed relocation and to have your objection heard by a judge. If you do not take action in time, you may permanently waive your right to object and be heard. If the other parent has moved your child without giving you proper notice, or after you have made a timely objection but before a judge has heard the case, a judge may grant you relief, including sometimes requiring the immediate return of the minor child pending a hearing.
What happens if there is disagreement about relocation of my child?
If the parents cannot agree to the terms of a relocation, a trial judge will decide whether a parent will be permitted to relocate the minor child. A parent who is considering relocating a minor child should seek the advice of an experienced relocation trial lawyer before sending notice to the other parent. A parent who either has received notice of a potential relocation of a minor child, or who believes that the other parent is attempting to relocate a minor child without giving proper notice, should immediately consult with a relocation trial lawyer. The Tulsa trial lawyers at Fry & Elder have years of trial experience in relocation cases.
Experience the Fry & Elder Difference
The relocation of minor children in Oklahoma is a complex and sensitive legal issue. If you find yourself involved in any of the above scenarios, it is in your best interest interest to contact an experienced and professional Tulsa family law attorney from Fry & Elder today. Our attorneys are some of the most respected and esteemed in the legal industry. Robert G “Hap” Fry Jr. has been named a “Super Lawyer” in Oklahoma and is a fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.
Firm attorneys James Elder, M. Shane Henry, Aaron Bundy and Fry all have garnered the prestigious AV® Preeminent Peer Review Rated by Martindal-Hubbell®, which is the highest recognition in the legal industry. Luke Barteaux, Bundy and Henry also recently made the 2015 Super Lawyers Rising Stars List. Contact Fry & Elder today to set up your personal consultation.
Additionally, the Oklahoma family law firm of Fry & Elder has been iconic in the realm of family law for a number of years, with roots dating all the way back to 1932. The firm has been named to the U.S. News & World Report’s list of Best Law Firms from 20114-2016.