Nixa, MO asked in Child Custody, Child Support, Divorce and Family Law for Oklahoma

Q: how do i get a divorce court moved to another state due to conflict of interest?

my ex is an attorney in the court that we were divorced in. He is well known in the county and state that the divorce took place in. Im unable to pay for an attorney nor have i been able to get help from legal aid in this matter. I live in missouri now and I want the divorce court to be move to missouri where myself and my two children reside. I also need to have the judge in the case to recuse himself.

1 Lawyer Answer
John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick

A: There is no law that allows a divorce court or case to be transferred from one state to another. Each state has its own divorce courts. Once a divorce case has been properly began in one state, that state retains jurisdiction through the entry of the final decree. It sounds to me from your question that has already happened.

Under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act, the state that is the home state of the children for six months has sole jurisdiction over all decisions affecting child custody, possession, etc. If you move after a divorce to another state with your children, once your children have lived there for six months, the new state has jurisdiction over any proceedings to modify or enforce the terms of your divorce decree pertaining to child custody, possession, etc.

Because your divorce is now final, it seems like it is too late to recuse the judge in that case even if you have grounds to do so. On the other hand, if you are trying to enforce the property division entered in your divorce, you probably do have to return to the court that rendered the decree within the appropriate statute of limitations. In such a proceeding, if you have grounds to recuse or disqualify the trial judge, you can file an appropriate motion and have a hearing. The fact that your ex is a well-known attorney won't be enough to recuse the judge. You will need clear evidence of favoritism outside any rulings the judge made in your particular case. For example, if a person witnessed the judge telling your ex, "If you do X for me in this case, I will take care of you in your dispute with your ex," you should present testimony from that witness.

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