OregonChild Custody Law
Oregon Child Custody Guide :: Table of Contents
Child custody is defined as the guardianship over a child, which covers both physical custody and legal custody. In a child custody dispute the court may award joint custody to both parents or sole custody to a single parent.
Child custody cases in Oregon can be either contested and resolved by court order, or noncontested and defined in a child custody agreement between the parents. A custody agreement or order will legally determine, at minimum, the following things:
- Where the child lives (physical custody)
- Who is involved in making parenting decisions (legal custody)
- How the visitation schedule with non-custodial parents or relatives is arranged
This page describes how a contested child custody case is handled in the Oregon court system, and what factors are used to determine which parent gets custody.
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After a breakup or divorce in Oregon, couples with children must come to a child custody agreement that describes which parent the children will live with, how visitation will be scheduled, and how the non-custodial parent will pay child support.
Some of the factors considered by Oregon in child custody cases include the child's wishes, willingness of the parent to cooperate with their partner and any history of domestic violence.
What Happens in Cases of Domestic Abuse?However, if a parent has committed abuse as defined in ORS 107.705 (Definitions for ORS 107.700 to 107.735), other than as described in subsection (6) of this section, there is a rebuttable presumption that it is not in the best interests and welfare of the child to award sole or joint custody of the child to the parent who committed the abuse.(3) If a party has a disability as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.), the court may not consider that party’s disability in determining custody unless the court finds that behaviors or limitations of the party that are related to the party’s disability are endangering or will likely endanger the health, safety or welfare of the child.(4) 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 consider the conduct, marital status, income, social environment or lifestyle of either party only if it is shown that any of these factors are causing or may cause emotional or physical damage to the child.(5) No preference in custody shall be given to the mother over the father for the sole reason that she is the mother, nor shall any preference be given to the father over the mother for the sole reason that he is the father.(6)(a) The court determining custody of a minor child under ORS 107.105 (Provisions of judgment) or 107.135 (Vacation or modification of judgment) shall not award sole or joint custody of the child to a parent if:(A) The court finds that the parent has been convicted of rape under ORS 163.365 (Rape in the second degree) or 163.375 (Rape in the first degree) or other comparable law of another jurisdiction; and(B) The rape resulted in the conception of the child.(b) A denial of custody under this subsection does not relieve the parent of any obligation to pay child support.
If the parents are on amicable terms they may agree to custody terms in a parenting agreement between themselves, or via a mediator. If child custody is disputed, however, they will have to receive a child custody order from a Oregon judge, who will attempt to make a custody decision that is in the "best interests of the child".
In the state of Oregon, a number of factors are taken into account by the courts when determining who gets child custody. This section describes Oregon's custody factors, considerations, and presumptions when evaluating a custody order.
Is there a set list of statutory factors for calculating child custody in the state of Oregon?
Oregon has a list of statutory factors that are considered by the court when determining a custody order. This list may include factors such as the child's age, the living situation of each parent, any history of abuse or neglect from either parent, etc. Although there is a statutory list of factors, consider other factors at its discretion depending on the particular circumstances of the case.
Do judges in the state of Oregon favor joint custody?
Judges in Oregon are authorized to order either joint or single-parent custody of a child subject to a custody dispute.
Courts in Oregon do not have a presumption in favor joint custody orders when evaluating child custody. The judge will evaluate the specifics of the custody dispute to determine what custody arrangement is in the best interests of the child.
Do Oregon courts encourage parents to cooperate together to raise the child?
Oregon courts favor awarding custody to a cooperative parent who is willing to work together with the other parent regarding child visitation, scheduling, child support, and other co-parenting matters. Oregon law favors co-parenting as being in the best interests of the child, and the courts will favor a parent willing to cooperate over a parent who attempts to alienate their child from the other parent.
Are the child's wishes considered when determining custody in the state of Oregon?
In Oregon, the court does consider the child's reasonable wishes when determining which parent wins custody. The judge may take the child's age, maturity, and judgement into consideration when considering the child's custody preference.
Do Oregon courts consider domestic violence when determining custody?
Oregon has laws that explicitly permit the consideration of domestic violence in conjunction with child custody. This may mean that domestic violence is a statutory factor in custody determinations, that the court has a presumption against custody for abusers, or that special procedural considerations are imposed in cases involving domestic violence.
Do the courts in the state of Oregon have the right to hire an attorney or Guardian Ad Litem to represent the child?
Oregon does not have statutory authority for appointment of a guardian ad litem or attorney for a child specifically in child custody case. This person would usually advocate for the best interest of the child.