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Joint Custody in Portland

Joint custody—also known as shared custody in Portland and other areas of Oregon—allows for equal decision-making by each parent over the life of a child. Both parents share the rights and responsibilities for major decisions such as those concerning the residence, education, and medical care for the child.

Joint custody does not necessarily mean that the child lives with each parent for equal time. Instead, a joint custody arrangement can specify one home as the primary residence of the child. The agreement can also give one of the parents sole power over specific decisions.

Unless both parents agree, a judge will not order that the parents have joint child custody. Thus, joint custody is recommended only for parents who can communicate effectively.  In Portland, a joint custody arrangement may not be feasible when parents are unable to communicate about what is best for a child.

Creating a Portland shared custody parenting plan

Under Oregon law, a parenting plan that delineates the rights and responsibilities of each parent is required as part of the final judgment. A general parenting plan must set forth the minimum amount of parenting time and access that a noncustodial parent is entitled to have. It also details how parental responsibilities are to be shared and allows that they may develop a more detailed agreement on an informal basis.

To avoid problems and disputes, the parents may file a more detailed parenting plan with the court. This plan may include provisions relating to:

  • Residential schedule
  • Holiday, birthday and vacation planning
  • Weekends
  • Decision-making and responsibility
  • Information sharing and access
  • Relocation of parents
  • Telephone access
  • Transportation
  • Methods for resolving disputes

A decision to obtain joint child custody should be made with the advice of a skilled Portland child custody attorney.

Father custody in Portland

Oregon law does not give preference to either parent on the basis of sex. Married parents have equal rights with regard to custody until a court orders otherwise. When parents are unmarried and paternity has not been established, the mother has legal custody and the father has no custody or parenting time rights. The father must establish paternity to petition for custody or parenting time if the mother refuses to let him see his child.

Get help with Portland child custody issues

Are you involved in a Portland custody fight with your former spouse? Do you have questions about Portland father custody or any other custody issue? Contact Gearing, Rackner & Engel, LLP to speak to one of our highly skilled attorneys.

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