Portland Child Custody Attorney
Experienced Child Custody Lawyers in Portland, Oregon
Legal custody refers to decision-making authority. The parent who is awarded “sole custody” will have the final say in the following major decisions in a child’s life: where they go to school, the non-emergency medical treatment they receive, and the religious training they receive. Parents who can work together on these major areas may choose to agree to “joint custody.” This means that both parents will make those decisions together.
In the event parents cannot agree to joint custody, the court must award sole custody to one of the parents. A judge will review all relevant factors including who has been the primary caregiver for the children; which parent can best facilitate a relationship between the children and the other parent; the emotional ties between the children and other family members; whether either parent has committed abuse against the other parent or a child; each parent’s interest in and attitudes toward the children; and the desirability of continuing an existing relationship.
The Oregon law provides these factors explicitly at ORS 107.137:
Factors considered in determining custody of the child
(1) Except as provided in subsection (6) of this section, in determining custody of a minor child under ORS 107.105 (Provisions of judgment) or 107.135 (Vacation or modification of judgment), the court shall give primary consideration to the best interests and welfare of the child. In determining the best interests and welfare of the child, the court shall consider the following relevant factors:
(a) The emotional ties between the child and other family members;
(b) The interest of the parties in and attitude toward the child;
(c) The desirability of continuing an existing relationship;
(d) The abuse of one parent by the other;
(e) The preference for the primary caregiver of the child, if the caregiver is deemed fit by the court; and
(f) The willingness and ability of each parent to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing relationship between the other parent and the child. However, the court may not consider such willingness and ability if one parent shows that the other parent has sexually assaulted or engaged in a pattern of behavior of abuse against the parent or a child and that a continuing relationship with the other parent will endanger the health or safety of either parent or the child.
Custody cases can be complex and tricky. Our family law attorneys are experienced in handling these types of cases. Contact one of our Portland child custody lawyers now for a consultation.
What To Expect In An Oregon Child Custody Consultation
We meet with all potential clients in person for the first consultation. This allows us to meet potential clients and hear the background of each case, to determine if your case is a good fit for our office, and to provide information about a client’s rights and responsibilities under Oregon law. We offer this initial consultation for a flat fee.
When starting the process for finding a lawyer, potential clients often ask “who is the best child custody lawyer in Oregon or the best Portland child custody lawyer?” The answer is: “the lawyer who gets the results you need.” Like the rest of family law, there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to selecting an attorney. The best lawyer is the one who listens to your circumstances, provides solid legal advice, and facilitates and achieves your goals. Contact one of our Portland child custody attorneys today to set up a consultation.
Child Custody Attorneys In Portland
When a couple decides to divorce, important and difficult decisions must be made in how they will navigate cooperatively. Nowhere is this more important than how they will co-parent their children as a divorced couple.
Co-Parenting After Divorce
When parents live separately, decision-making and time spent with each parent are critical issues to the children’s health and wellbeing. While children deserve both parents’ involvement and attention in their lives, there must be a concise and fair custody arrangement in place that governs how that will be done.
Family laws concerning children in the state of Oregon are written to prioritize their best interests. This includes custody arrangements in the case of divorce. How custody and the parenting plan are crafted between two co-parents will legally set out how a couple will navigate matters like where the child will live, the parenting schedule, vacations, relocation, and other issues that may come up during co-parenting.
Child Custody Arrangements
There are two different types of custody. Legal custody governs who will make the significant decisions concerning the child’s education, religious training, and non-emergency medical care. Physical custody (also called “the parenting plan”) sets out with who, when, and where the child will live at any given time. Legal custody can be shared — joint custody — or awarded to one parent — sole custody.
The Difference Between Joint Custody And Sole Custody
When parents can cooperate and agree to where the child will go to school, how they will receive medical attention, or what religion they will follow, joint legal custody allows them to make these decisions together. Parents can also agree to divide those responsibilities, for example giving one parent final decision-making on education issues and giving the other parent decision-making on medical issues.
When parents cannot agree, the court will award sole legal custody to one parent. When considering sole custody, the judge will review the facts and determine which parent is best equipped to make these decisions for the child.
How Do the Courts Decide Child Custody In Oregon?
When custody is being decided by the courts, they will consider many important factors. These will include:
- Who has been the primary caregiver during the children’s lives
- The emotional relationship each parent has with the children
- Other family members’ emotional ties to the children
- The parent’s willingness to encourage the child’s relationship with the other parent
- Any history of neglect or abuse
- The child’s preference if he or she is mature enough to make that decision
We Are Here To Help
Child custody, at its best, is a cooperative effort between both parents. A skilled Portland child custody attorney will have the experience to navigate child custody negotiations to ensure the children’s needs are met. If the courts must determine custody, your attorney must be able to present your case and strongly advocate on your behalf.
Because of the complexity of child support cases, it is essential that you get strong legal representation to ensure your interests, safety, and rights as well as the best interests of your children.
Our experienced Portland child custody attorneys at Jill Brittle Family Law Group have skillfully negotiated and defended parents’ custody rights in very complicated cases throughout our careers. Contact us to schedule an initial consultation to discuss your child custody concerns and your legal rights and options.