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Divorce/child custody jurisdiction (county) question...

Oklahoma City, OK |

I fled our home for safety reasons with our daughter to another county. I filed for legal separation in my new county and have a VPO against him b/c there was an act of domestic violence that occurred in the new county. He went and filed for divorce in the old county to try to trump my separation proceeding in the new county and have it moved back to the old one. My question is: If the new county does grant his motion to dismiss and transfer back to the old county, can he then cancel his divorce filing and we're all left back at square one with no proceeding at all? (He hinted to his friend about this strategy.)

Attorney Answers 1

  1. You have to be a resident of your county for 30 days before you can file to dissolve your marriage in Oklahoma. The divorce filing in County A will trump the separate maintenance action in County B. Expect the separate maintenance action in County A to be dismissed or transferred to County B. You can file a counterclaim in the divorce action in County B, and your spouse cannot dismiss. If your spouse dismisses in County A and you've lived in County B for thirty days at that time, you can file to dissolve the marriage in County B.

    The bottom line is, if you want to divorce your spouse, you can. The only question is where. Even though you might prefer County B as the more convenient forum for you, stay focused on your ultimate goal to get out of your dangerous relationship. Good luck and keep safe.

    If we do not have a written attorney-client agreement: I am not your lawyer; you are not my client; this is not legal advice.

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