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What Factors Affect Custody Arrangements?

There is a great deal of misinformation about what influences child custody agreements. For example, the fact that the other child’s parent has a new boyfriend or girlfriend is rarely going to be sufficient to impact arrangements, unless he or she is abusive or engaging in illegal activity.

The rule of thumb for awarding custody is to seek the child’s best interests. This may include factors such as:

  • Parents’ abilities to support the child
  • Current standard of living
  • Distance of new residence from child’s school
  • Health of each parent
  • Special needs relevant to the child

Because these factors vary from case to case, it is important to have an experienced attorney advocating for you who understands Oregon’s custody laws.

Legal Custody Versus Physical Custody

In Oregon, child custody is awarded in two parts: legal custody and physical custody.

Legal custody addresses major decision-making rights, including the right to make decisions about school, religion, medical treatment and activities like sports and summer camps.

Physical custody addresses where the child lives. The parent who has the child the majority of the time is the physical custodian. The other parent typically has the right to parenting time, formerly referred to as visitation. It is rare for a parent to have no rights to see their children, except in cases of illegal behavior or domestic violence.

Modifications To Child Custody

Child custody agreements are not set in stone. They can be modified if life circumstances require it. Changes in work schedule, remarriage, the birth of new children, the child’s age and other factors may lead to a modification. We can assist with these changes. Please contact us if you would like to discuss the possibility of a modification.

We Will Defend Your Wishes

We know custody is a very important but sensitive topic for divorcing parents. We are honest and upfront with our clients about what to expect and what we can do for them.

To discuss your case with a lawyer, send us an email, or call 503-505-7941 or 888-779-8837. We work throughout Portland and the tri-county area.