WHAT COURTS CAN (AND CAN’T) CONSIDER IN CUSTODY CASES

On behalf of Stephen Bedor of Law Office of Stephen J. Bedor posted in child custody on Wednesday, July 18, 2018. 

Divorcing parents may have many worries regarding child custody. For one, they may be afraid that they might, for one reason or another, be at a disadvantage in custody proceedings. What can and can’t Oregon courts consider in child custody matters?

There are a variety of factors state law directs courts to look at when deciding what custody setup would be in the best interests of the child in question. This includes the emotional ties, relationship, interests and attitudes each of the parents has regarding the child. Also included is whether there is a history of domestic violence. Another factor to be considered (with some exceptions) is how willing each parent is to promote a strong relationship between the child and the other parent.

State law also restricts courts from considering certain things when it comes to child custody. For one, Oregon prohibits courts from giving preference to a mother over a father just because she is a mother. Such a prohibition is also in place when it comes to fathers. Also, courts are limited in when they can factor a parent’s disability into a custody decision. Generally, they can only do so when it is found that the child’s health, safety or welfare is endangered, or is likely to be endangered, by limitations or behaviors connected to the parent’s disability.

When navigating child custody matters, it can be very important for parents to have accurate information on what things would likely be factors in their case. This could help them understand what the big issues in their case could be, and what things they shouldn’t be disadvantaged by in custody proceedings. Family law attorneys can help parents with being properly informed on such issues.