That’s Always a Duty
Video Transcribed: My name is Brian L. Jackson. I am a Tulsa fathers’ rights attorney. And today I’d like to talk to you guys about relocation. What do you need to do if you want to relocate? Well, that depends. As a preliminary matter, if you were either custodial or have visitation rights with a child, you are required to keep the other party abreast of your current address. They need to know where to contact you, where to contact the children while they’re in your care. That’s always a duty.
Now, if you are the custodial parent or a joint custodian, and you propose to relocate more than 75 miles from your present address, then you are required to give written notice, and at least 30 days lead time by statute unless there’s some kind of exigent circumstances that prevent the lead time. Failure to do so, one, can be considered contempt to court.
Two, it also could be grounds for the court to come back later and enjoin you from relocating. So it’s really important you follow that statute because failure to do so could be predicated into a bad-faith argument on relocation which may result in the court ordering you not to relocate.
So, if you want to be able to relocate, it’s very important that you give appropriate notice. What is appropriate Addis? Well, you have to send written notice to the other parent and file in the court case where the custody order exists. And you want to do the latter not only to comply with the statute but also as a CYA, if you kind of get what I’m saying, because in the event that there’s a dispute over that, you definitely want to record that you made a good faith attempt.
Now, once that notice is filed, the other party has the opportunity to object. Now, if they fail to object within the statutory time limit, then the relocation is deemed approved and you’re free to move. If they do object, then you will need to go to court and demonstrate to the court that the relocation is not in bad faith and that it is not contrary to the best interests of the children, or your child, if there’s a single child. And again, it’s important to follow the statute because that puts you in the best position to be able to get your request granted without a problem.
If you’re not following the statute, you’re already setting yourself up to have to deal with a bad-faith argument. And one thing to understand about any kind of proceedings in family court, and any kind of Title 43 proceedings, whether you’re talking about a divorce, whether you’re talking about paternity, whether you’re talking about a motion to modify, or any other ancillary proceedings that might come up under one of these types of situations, there are what’s called suits in equity.
Suits in equity basically are, first of all, it’s going to be tried to the bench. That is, the judge makes the decision. And secondly, anytime you’re dealing with suits in equity, you are subject to equitable defenses and one of the big ones that people get jammed up in courts of equity in, is when they fail to act in good faith.
That is, you’re behaving in a manner that’s disingenuous or otherwise sneaky, slimy, or underhanded. And courts don’t like that. And the judges have seen it all. So, if you think you’re slick, you’re not, and you’re liable to get caught, and it’s just going to bite you in the backside. So guys, if you’re wanting to relocate or you need help with any other family law in Oklahoma questions, please go to dads.law where fathers are not disposable.