Oregon Child Custody Lawyers
Legal custody refers to decision-making authority. The parent who is awarded “sole custody” will have the final say in the major decisions in a child’s life: where they go to school, the medical treatment they receive, and the religious influence in their lives. Parents who can work together and see eye-to-eye 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 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 very complex and difficult. Trust our experienced family law lawyers to handle your custody case. Contact one of our Portland child custody lawyers today to set up a consultation.
What To Expect In An Oregon Child Custody Consultation
As a service to clients, we meet with all potential clients in person, preferably with two attorneys, for the first consultation. This allows us to determine which lawyer is best-suited for any given case, based on the subject matter and the client’s personality. In addition to the client getting two-for-the-price-of-one, this allows both lawyers to meet potential clients and hear the background of each case. Although ultimately only one lawyer will handle the case, the other will then know the basics of each case and can answer questions when a client calls. We offer this initial consultation for a flat-fee of $100.00.
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 not 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 divorce lawyers today to set up a consultation.