Child Custody Lawyer in Medford, Oregon
Giving You the Right Advice Related to Child Custody
The parent with legal custody has the authority to make major decisions for the children, usually in the areas of religious upbringing, education, and medical treatment. For instance, the parent with custody decides if the children should go to private or public school, whether getting braces to straighten teeth is is good idea, and whether or not its ok for the teenager to get a tattoo after all.
Joint custody is recommended for parents who can make decisions together about the children. Joint custody only works if both parents maintain an ability to communicate with one another after the divorce. In Oregon, joint custody is only ordered if both parties want it, if one party objects, then the court will decide who gets custody and who will be the non-custodial parent.
The non-custodial parent has rights equal to the custodial parent when it comes to obtaining records from schools, doctors and counselors. The custodial parent has a duty to inform the non-custodial parent of any emergency circumstances or significant changes in the children’s health.
Factors Considered While Deciding Who Gets Custody as Listed in ORS 107.137.
1. The emotional ties between the children and other family members.
2. The interest of the parties in and the attitudes towards the children.
3. The desirability of continuing existing relationships.
4. Whether or not either parent has committed abuse against the other parent or the children.
5. Which parent is the primary parent.
6. How the parents support and encourage a close and continuing relationship between the children and the other parent.
Grandparents Rights or Third Party Rights for Custody
Grandparents or third parties such as step parents, with a close relationship to a child, can seek custody or visitation but these cases are often complicated. There is a presumption that the legal parent acts in the best interests of the child. Therefore, for a third party to get custody or visitation, that presumption needs to be rebutted. Factors the court takes into consideration include whether the third party has cared for the child, if the legal parent is adequately caring for the child, if the child would be emotionally hurt or damaged if custody or visitation was not ordered, whether the legal party previously encouraged the relationship between the third party and the child, and whether the legal party is being unreasonable and why in denying the third party a relationship with the child. None of these factors are determinative, the courts look to the totality of circumstances in each case in making a decision.