Portland Child Custody Attorney

How Child Custody Is Determined in Oregon

When two parents decide to get a divorce, all decisions regarding child custody and parenting time must be made in the child's best interests. McKinley Irvin is a Portland premier family law firm and our attorneys are intimately familiar with this state's child custody laws as well as custody laws in Washington, including those involving child relocation. Our attorneys know what a family law judge will look for when deciding a child custody case; we can fight to ensure that your child's best interests are met.

Types of Custody Arrangements in Oregon

There are two types of custody: legal and physical.

  • Legal custody refers to the legal responsibility of raising a child and the authority to make decisions regarding the child’s health and upbringing.
  • Physical custody, on the other hand, refers to with whom the child lives. Both types of custody may be classified as either sole or joint.

Sole vs Joint Custody

Sole legal custody means that only one parent has the authority to make important decisions for the child, while joint legal custody means that both parents have to make all or most decisions about the child together.

Likewise, sole physical custody means that the child is only permitted to live with the custodial parent, whilejoint physical custody means that the child will alternate between both parents’ homes.

In Oregon, the courts will typically grant sole legal and physical custody to one parent and parenting time to the other parent, unless both parents can agree to a joint custody arrangement.

How Do Oregon Courts Decide Child Custody?

Parenting time can be a critical issue in situations where parents are getting a divorce or are living separately. Children deserve to have both of their parents involved in their lives as long as such involvement is beneficial to the child's growth and development. Each Portland child custody lawyer with our firm has the knowledge and experience necessary to build and present a strong case on your behalf. We can act as an aggressive advocate for your custody or visitation rights, or we can help you and the other parent work out a mutually beneficial parenting plan without having to go to court.

When it comes to determining child custody, the court considers the following:

  • Which parent has been the primary caregiver
  • The child’s emotional ties to each parent and other family members
  • The desirability of continuing the child’s current living arrangements
  • The home environment and lifestyle of each parent
  • Each parent’s willingness to foster their child’s relationship with the other parent
  • Any history of abuse and neglect
  • The child’s preference (if mature enough to make a decision)

Consult a Portland Divorce Lawyer

Family-related legal cases, especially those involving children, are some of the most important work we do. When it comes to the well-being of your children, you should not risk working with an inexperienced attorney. McKinley Irvin attorneys have dedicated their careers to the practice of family law and will work tirelessly for your child's best interests. Attorneys with our firm have received numerous recognitions and accolades, such as inclusion in Oregon Super Lawyers®.

We invite you to contact us online or call (206) 625-9600 at your earliest convenience to request a consultation and learn more about what our firm can do for you.

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