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    Family Law

    ● Contested and Uncontested Divorce
    ● Divorce with Children
    ● Property Division
    ● Dividing Inheritance
    ● Alimony and Spousal Support
    ● Temporary Orders
    ● Domestic Violence
    ● Small Business Interests
    ● Mediation

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    Choosing the right attorney to defend your rights as a parent is one of the most difficult decisions you may ever have to make. Divorce is often an adversarial process, where children can get caught in the middle and end up bearing an emotional load that they shouldn’t have to.

    How Child Custody Works in McMinnville

    While Oregon has a robust child custody code that allows for joint custody and protects the visitation rights of grandparents, what it does not consider are the wishes of the child or children in question. For this reason, it’s best to reach an agreement outside of court if at all possible. 

    When a court does rule on custody matters, the judge will look at the ability of each parent or guardian to care for the physical needs of the child. Once that’s determined, they will then consider other factors such as emotional relationships, the willingness of each parent to cooperate with the court, and the interest they have in caring for that child.

    Paternity Rights and Annulment

    Under Oregon law, unmarried fathers have no right to be in their child’s or children’s lives without taking legal action. While both parents may voluntarily formalize the father’s position by naming him as the father on the child’s birth certificate or by signing an acknowledgment of paternity, by default a father will lose all custody of their child after an annulment if neither of these conditions are met. 

    What Does it Mean to “Have Custody” of Someone?

    Custody is an emotionally charged word that is often used in terms of winning or losing, but what does it actually entail? 

    Sole Custody means that one person makes any and all important legal and medical decisions for their child or ward, such as:

    • Which doctor they visit
    • Whether they take any medications
    • Where they go to school
    • Any other situations in which legal (signed) consent is required

    This doesn’t mean that only the sole guardian has control of daily decisions, merely that their permission is required for any matters that require legal consent. You can still decide whether your child should stay home from school if they’re sick or what their sleep schedule might look like. 

    Joint Custody is when these legal decisions are split between both parties, and because of this there is an assumption that both parents will be able to work together amicably to make these decisions without the aid of the court. Generally, one of the most important questions in joint custody cases is physical custody, or where the child will sleep on any given day. 

    Whether or not you have legal custody doesn’t determine whether you spend time with your child, or the impact you can have on their lives. If you’re trying to decide on whether to fight for custody, make sure you understand what you’re fighting for.

    Child Support Payments

    Child support is money one parent must pay to the other for support of their shared child or children, and ends either when the child reaches the age of 18, or in some specific cases the age of 21.  

    Generally, the parent who has the child for more overnight stays receives support payments from the other parent. Support may be awarded even if a parent has 50/50 custody if there is a significant difference between their two incomes. 

    Based on the same factors that determine child support, the Oregon guidelines may impose an additional obligation within a child support determination in the form of “cash medical support.” This is intended to help pay for health coverage, or for the uninsured medical expenses of that child. If insurance is not available, the court may order one of the parties to acquire publicly-funded health insurance and/or to provide private health insurance when it becomes available.

    What is Considered Unfit Parenting in Oregon?

    Under Oregon law, judges are required to consider many factors in determining a person’s fitness as a parent. There are several things that can automatically disqualify a parent or guardian from spending time with a child, however, such as sexual or domestic abuse. In those cases, the court generally does not consider a parent uncooperative if they prevent an abusive person from seeing the child, even if that person has a custody agreement. 

    Thoughtful, Compassionate Solutions to Custody Disputes

    Mcminnville Attorney understands your concerns about custody arrangements and knows what’s at stake if the best solution isn’t found. Give us a call today and let us help you ensure the best possible future for yourself and your children. 

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