Can I Move My Children Out-of-State Without a Child Custody Order?

Note: The DearEsq free 'ask a lawyer' site is offered as a free informational service to the public and is not intended as legal advice. Laws vary from state-to-state, and in addition every situation is unique, and relevant facts may not be known. The answer to the question posed below may not apply to in your state or to your situation. For legal advice in your state and your situation you should consult with an attorney in your state who is familiar with the rules and laws in your state.

I plan to move from Ohio to Oklahoma. I have 2 kids and I am not married or in a relationship with their father. We never had a court order for child custody created. Our kids live with me and I am basically their sole provider. How do I go about moving out of state without getting into trouble? What are the steps I need to take?

Because you have no child custody order in place, technically, depending on your state law, you can move to Oklahoma with your kids. However, if their father finds out about the kids moving away, he may request an emergency child custody hearing in in order for him to obtain custody of the kids.

You also have the option to go ahead and file for sole custody of your kids. If you are their sole custodian, then their father may have no interest in asserting his parental right for custody. It is best to speak with a local lawyer to advise you about the best possible options for your situation.