Child Custody Lawyers in Portland
Protecting Your Custody Rights to the Fullest Extent
As a parent or grandparent, or even as another family member or person interested in a child’s well-being, you may have the right to a meaningful relationship with that child. This may include physical custody as well as making decisions regarding the child’s care. Child custody matters are highly complex and often emotionally charged as well, making it important to involve a competent attorney who can protect your rights.
Levine Law Center represents clients across the greater Portland area in custody proceedings related to divorce, paternity, fathers’ rights, mothers’ rights, grandparents’ rights, and third-party custodial rights. If you are going through a divorce or are dealing with any other issue involving custody or visitation, our Portland child custody attorneys may be able to help.
Types of Child Custody Matters We Handle
Child custody and parenting time (visitation) must be addressed if parents are divorcing or separating. It may also come up in paternity cases, or if a child’s parents are incapacitated or lose their lives. Our Portland custody lawyers stand ready to help in any such situation.
We handle all types of child custody matters, including:
- Fathers' Rights & Mothers' Rights – Protecting fathers’ rights and mothers’ rights in paternity proceedings, divorce, and all other matters related to child custody and parenting time. While the courts typically try to grant fathers and mothers similar rights regarding custody, extenuating circumstances or instances of abuse may create the need for a sole custody arrangement. Such decisions will be made in the child’s best interests.
- Grandparent Custody & Visitation – In some cases, such as the incarceration or incompetence of a child’s parents, grandparents may have the right to custody of their grandchild. Our attorneys can address grandparents’ custody rights when these apply.
- Third-Party Custody – While less common than parental rights or grandparents’ rights, third-party custodial rights may apply in cases where there is an existing relationship that fulfills traditional parental duties or involves long-term visitation or involvement in a child’s life. While Oregon law typically favors parents in child custody proceedings, non-parents may seek custody or visitation rights if there is evidence of a sufficient relationship and need, and if it is in the child’s best interests.
Oregon Child Custody FAQ
What Kinds of Custody Are There in Oregon?
Oregon has two types of custody: joint custody and sole custody. Joint custody means that both parents share in the decision-making for their child. In joint custody cases, it isn't necessary for the child to spend 50% of their time with each parent–the percentage depends on what the parents or the court decide. In sole custody cases, only one parent has physical custody and decision-making authority for the child.
How Is Child Custody Determined in Oregon?
According to the Oregon State Bar website, Oregon courts make custody determinations based on the "best interests and welfare of the child." Judges take the following matters into account when deciding custody:
- The child's emotional relationship with each parent
- Each parent's interest in and attitude toward the child
- Each parent's desire to continue a relationship with the child
- Each parent's willingness and capacity to facilitate and encourage a relationship with the other parent and child
- Each parent's income and home environment (only if it may cause emotional or physical harm to the child)
- Any history of family violence or domestic abuse
- Any history of alcohol or substance abuse
- Who the primary caregiver of the child is
Is Oregon a Mother or Father State When It Comes to Custody?
According to Oregon custody laws, preference may not be shown to either the mother or the father in a custody case based on their gender. Rather, Oregon courts take into consideration the "preference of the primary caregiver of the child." Whoever was parent who took care of the child before the divorce has a stronger say in custody, as long as the court deems the primary caregiver to be "fit."
At What Age Can a Child in Oregon Decide Which Parent to Live With?
In Oregon custody cases, minor children do not have a say in which parent they may live with. Custody is determined between the parents, or by the court if custody is contested. Children in Oregon may only choose who they live with once they are emancipated/reach the age of majority, which is 18 years old.
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We are conveniently located off of I-205 for our clients in Multnomah and Clackamas Counties, and our attorneys will come out to meet clients that live in Washington and Yamhill Counties.
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