Child Custody and Parenting Time

Custody

Oregon law provides two types of custody arrangements: sole custody and joint custody. To receive joint custody, both parties must agree.  If both parties do not agree to joint custody, the court will designate one party as the sole custodial parent.

Where Can I File for Custody and Parenting Time?

An Oregon court has jurisdiction to make a custody and parenting time determination if:

  • Oregon is the child’s home state when the initial pleading is filed; or
  • Oregon was the child’s home state within six months of the date the initiating pleading was filed, the child is currently in another state, but a parent or person acting as the parent continues to live in Oregon.

Joint Custody

If the parties agree on joint custody, both parents share rights and responsibilities for major decisions regarding the child, including the child’s residence, education, health care, and religious training.  In a joint custody arrangement, the child does not have to spend equal time with each parent. One parent may provide the primary residence for the child, and may have the power to make decisions about specific matters, while both parents retain equal rights and responsibilities for other decisions.

Sole Custody

The custodial parent is the person who has primary rights and responsibilities to supervise, care for, and educate the child. Parenting time under a sole custody arrangement can be equal or unequal. The primary consideration in determining child custody is the best interests and welfare of the child.  When determining custody, the court gives great weight to the child’s primary caretaker.

Many factors are considered by the Oregon family law judge when determining what custody arrangement is in the child’s best interests, including:

  • The emotional ties between the child and other family members
  • The parties’ interests in and attitude toward the child
  • The desirability of continuing an existing relationship
  • The abuse of one parent by the other
  • The preference for the primary caregiver of the child
  • The willingness and ability of each parent to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing relationship between the other parent and the child

Modification of Custody

In order to modify custody, Oregon law requires that there has been a substantial change in circumstances since entry of the last custody judgment. The substantial change in circumstances must be unanticipated and must affect the custodial parent’s ability to appropriately care for the child.  The parent seeking to modify custody must also show that the modification is in the child’s best interests.

Alienation and interference with the parent-child relationship of the non-custodial parent may be a sufficient basis to modify custody. The factors the judge must consider in determining whether a custody modification is appropriate are the same factors used in determining the initial custody award, and include: emotional ties to family members, interests and attitude towards the child, desire to continue the relationship, abuse, and the willingness and ability to facilitate a close relationship between the other parent and the child.  The judge can also consider gross moral misconduct of the custodial parent that has or may have an adverse impact on the child.

Oregon Custody Lawyers

Our child custody attorneys are experienced in all counties throughout the state of Oregon regarding establishing and modifying child custody. We have represented hundreds of clients in divorce and custody cases and understand these matters are highly emotional and will inevitably have a profound impact on the lives of you and your children.

Our family law attorneys will ensure you know the strengths and weaknesses of your custody case so you are able to make the best decisions for yourself and your family.  If you want the best child custody attorney in your corner, contact our law office for a consultation.

Parenting Time

In Oregon, the parenting time schedule is referred to as a “parenting plan” and designates each parent’s time with the child. Parenting time must be based upon what is in the child’s best interests. The parenting plan may designate equal parenting time regardless of the custody arrangement as long as an equal parenting plan is determined to be in the child’s best interests.   Parenting time may also be denied to one parent if it is shown that the visits adversely affect the child.

Our attorneys understand parenting time is a critical issue in situations where parents are getting divorced or separating. Children deserve the best possible outcome when going through these difficult times. Don’t risk working with an inexperienced attorney when it comes to the safety and well being of your child.  Our attorneys are dedicated the practice of family law and work diligently to ensure the best interests of your child are met.  Contact our law office to speak with an experienced professional who can provide well informed answers to your questions about parenting time in Oregon.

Relocating With Your Child

If you have custody of your child and desire to relocate to a place that would affect the other parent’s visitation schedule with the child, you need an experienced divorce and custody attorney to assist you. Relocating without the consent of the other parent is often difficult if it will interfere with the parenting plan.

When either parent wants to relocate for employment, lifestyle or health reasons, he or she must either negotiate a new parenting plan or request the court order the parenting plan be modified to accommodate the relocation. In order to convince a judge to allow relocation, you must prove that relocation is necessary and in the best interest of your child.

Our attorneys can help you determine whether the facts of your case support relocation and how best to go about achieving a parenting plan that allows you to relocate with your child.  We understand the realistic possibility that relocating may lead to a better life for you and your child. We are here to help you achieve success by giving you the best possible legal advice when it comes to moving to another county, state, or country with your child.