Tigard Child Custody Attorney
Custody Lawyers Serving Tigard, Beaverton and Washington County, OR: (503) 743-0185
Parents who share children must determine how custody should be arranged and when. Whether you are seeking sole custody, joint custody, or visitation or parenting time, custody matters are often at the center of many disputes between parents. While it is important that you assert your parental rights, you should never overlook what is in the best interests of your child.
Why Choose Our Oregon Custody Attorneys?
- Team of Three Lawyers with over 35 Years' Shared Experience
- Serving Tigard, Lake Oswego & Beaverton
- One-on-One Counsel for Every Stage of the Case
- Trusted, Straightforward Counsel
- Common Sense, Compassionate Approach
Have our skilled Tigard child custody attorneys at Rose L. Hubbard, Attorneys at Law help you create a sound and effective custody plan that meets everyone’s needs. We will take the time to understand your unique family dynamics and work to help your family move forward in a respectful and dignified manner.
How Child Custody Is Determined in Tigard
It is often best when parents are able to agree on a custody issue without the court intervening. When parents can agree on a custody arrangement that works for both parties, then everybody, including the child, is often better off. In some cases, however, mediation may be unsuccessful. If parents cannot come to an agreement on child custody, then a judge will have to make the final decision on their behalf. Our trial-tested Tigard child custody lawyers in Oregon can help you whether your case is decided inside or outside a courtroom.
If you do have legal custody, it doesn’t mean you get to make all the decisions. You may be able to agree on shared rules, but you cannot control what happens at the other parent’s house, unless it is a serious safety issue. Neither parent can schedule events for the children on the other parent’s time and expect the other parent to be forced to take the child to the event.
When a court decides on custody matters, the judge will look at:
- The preference for the primary caregiver, if fit
- The emotional relationships between the child and family members
- The interest of the parties in and attitude toward the child
- The desirability of continuing existing relationships
- Each parent's willingness and ability to cooperate
- Any history of violence or abuse by the parents
There is a strong policy in Oregon to support the child's relationships with both parents unless there is a threat to health or safety.
What Does it Mean to "Have Custody"?
“Custody” is one of those words that is highly emotionally charged. You hear from your friends that he “won” custody, or she “lost” custody. What does “custody” really mean?
There two basic forms of legal custody. Legal custody doesn’t mean where the kids spend the night or their time, it means who has the right to make certain legal decisions for the children. If you have sole legal custody, then you make the major medical decisions for the children, whether they have surgery, or take a certain medication, or what doctor they go to. You also make major educational decisions for the children, such as which school they attend, and what programs at school they are enrolled in. If you do not have legal custody, this does not mean that you are not involved with the daily decisions, such as caring for your children when they are sick and attending their school functions with them. You still make the smaller decisions that come up every day.
You can also have joint legal custody, which means that both parents have the right to make legal decisions for the children, taking them to doctors, and making decisions as they come up. It is assumed that parents will be able to communicate sufficiently well enough to make decisions such as which school the child should attend and be in agreement. Joint legal custody has nothing to do with where the children sleep or the parenting schedule.
Physical custody is what is most important to most parents. What is the parenting plan going to be? What is the schedule? That schedule can vary greatly, and depends upon the schedules of the parents and the needs of the children. If you are a parent that travels out of town a great deal, it isn’t going to make sense to ask for week on, week off parenting time, even though that may feel “fair” to you as a parent.
Whether or not you have legal custody is not going to determine whether you lose time and influence with your children. The time and influence is what really makes a difference in the lives of you and your children. If you are trying to figure out whether you need to fight for custody, make sure you know what it is that you are fighting about. There may be other solutions that make more sense for you and your children.
What is an Unfit Parent in Oregon?
In the state of Oregon, there are many factors that are considered in determining the custody of a child. Under Oregon law, judges are required to consider all of the relevant factors pertaining to child custody in order to come to a decision. However, if a parent has committed some sort of abuse, such as sexual or domestic abuse, no cooperation between parents is required.
In other words, a parent is considered unfit if they have a history of abuse and it is no longer within the child’s best interests for that parent to have joint or shared custody. Generally, it is not considered uncooperative for a parent to inhibit an abusive parent from seeing the child.
Effective Solutions to Custody Disputes
Our Tigard child custody attorneys at Rose L. Hubbard understands that you are concerned about custody arrangements because this can potentially affect the relationship between you and your child. We know what is at stake and how your family dynamics can change after this case. Our team is ready to steer you towards solutions that are in your and your child’s long-term interests. We serve Beaverton, Lake Oswego, and nearby areas.