Child Custody and Relocation Laws of Oklahoma
Though it may cause conflict in the relationship, Oklahoma does allow the parent with custody rights to relocate. But there are some restrictions.
If the move is less than 75 miles away from the child’s current home and for a period of less than 60 days, the custodial parent may take the minor child without needing to notify the court. Neither of these situations would be considered a “relocation” by the court.
Relocation in Oklahoma legally means moving more than 75 miles away from the child’s current location, or for a period of longer than 60 days. Okla. Stat. tit. 43 § 112.3
For those situations, no later than 60 days prior to the anticipated date the custodial parent must submit a written notification to the other parent at their last-known address. Custodial parents should send notification as soon as they reasonably can, but no later than 10 days after they have decided that a move is essential if sending notice this long in advance is not possible. Non-custodial parents should object within 30 days or less of receiving the notice.
Child Custody Relocation Notices
Here’s what a child custody relocation notice has to contain:
- Intended new address
- Phone number and mailing address
- Anticipated move date
- Brief explanation of the reason behind the relocation
- Proposal for a new visitation schedule for the child and non-custodial parent
- Notice to the non-custodial parent informing them that they have 30 days to file an objection to the relocation notice
If the notice meets all the above requirements, the custodial parent may move after 30 days have passed. If the notice doesn’t meet all the above requirements, the court may reject it as invalid. It’s crucial for a non-custodial parent to file an objection within 30 days since the court may approve the relocation without holding a hearing. The arguments against the proposed move should be included in the objection.
A child custody relocation attorney in Oklahoma can help determine if a child custody relocation notice is valid or not.
The Importance of Establishing Paternity
For unmarried fathers who wish to contest a child custody relocation notice, it’s essential that they first establish paternity over the child as soon as possible.
To establish paternity in Oklahoma, the law requires a buccal swab test – swabbing the inside of the cheek. The test usually takes four to six weeks to yield results. This means if you are an unmarried father who wishes to contest the relocation of your child, it’s vital you undertake the test as soon as possible.