Video Transcribed: My spouse left the state with my child. What do I do? I’m Tulsa Child Custody Attorney James Wirth. The scenario here has been asked: What if your spouse leaves the state with your child? What do you do?
The first piece of advice I have for you is do not wait. You need to act quickly, which will depend on the circumstances. So you’re married, which means there’s no divorce decree entered, and there are no orders regarding custody, visitation, or child support.
None of that is in place; it sounds like. So if your spouse leaves out of state with your child, you need to file with the court immediately to one, not allow this to go on too long.
Two, secure jurisdiction in the state where you are, assuming you’ve been residing there for the last six months in the state and 30 days in the county, that’s going to be appropriate jurisdiction.
But if you wait too long, where you are may not be the appropriate jurisdiction anymore. Jurisdiction may be proper somewhere else and there, in which case it is whoever files first.
So file first, file quick, and you want to file a petition either for legal separation or for divorce, where you’re requesting orders regarding custody, visitation, and child support. Make her travel back here to go to court. That gives you a home-field advantage, and you want to move that case forward quickly.
You can file for emergency custody if you believe your spouse is dangerous to the child. Still, you’ve got to demonstrate that the child is at imminent risk of irreparable harm if the court does not enter that order. But if you delay and wait on an emergency, that will undermine the credibility of the concerns you’re alleging, so you got to act quickly on that as well.
If you are in this scenario, you need to speak with an attorney quickly about that to get personalized legal advice. You’re going to get an appointment with a child custody attorney in Tulsa at my office to get legal advice particularized to your circumstances. Go to makelaweasy.com.