Serving Salem, Oregon
The Law Office of David Johnson located in Salem, Oregon handles all Family Law issues; including child custody.
A custody dispute begins when one parent (the petitioner) files a petition for custody or parenting time to the other parent (responder). The petition must be filled out properly and given to the courts. A family law attorney can help you with this process. Once the petition is filed, the respondent will receive (served) a copy of the petition. At that point, the respondent can sign an “acceptance of service” that basically states that he has received the petition. The petitioner can give the petition to the respondent, or they can find a sheriff, or another adult to give the respondent the petition.
Oregon law allows for the respondent a maximum of 30 days to respond to the petition. If the respondent does not file a response to the Oregon courts then the petitioner may be granted everything they asked for in the petition. If the respondent does not like the demands requested in the petition they must file a response to the courts within 30 days. Once the response has been properly filed then the court can begin the trial process which includes either mediation or a settlement conference.
In Oregon, there are two types of custody decisions that are considered; joint custody and sole custody. The purpose of deciding custody is to choose which parent is responsible for the decision-making for their child. Decision-making can include religion, education, medical care, and residence.
Joint custody in Oregon does not mean that the child will live with both parents an equal amount of time. In many cases, parents may have joint custody, but then their child might never actually live with them. Joint custody just means that both parents have an equal say in the decisions for their child. They both have the right to talk about what is best for their child. In Oregon, a judge will not award joint custody unless both parents of the child agree that it is the best choice. It is important to remember that even though joint custody has been awarded that does not do away with child support obligations. If a parent decides that they would not like joint custody then it is the court’s responsibility to determine which parent will be awarded sole custody. It is at this point that it might be essential for a parent to be represented by an attorney in order to give them a better chance of having a fair outcome. The parent who is given sole custody will have the opportunity to make all of the decisions for the child without having to get permission from the other parent and an attorney will help you remain in control of the decisions for your child.
It is important to note that a judge won’t automatically assign custody just because the parent is a mother. Each parent will be considered when trying to decide who will be awarded custody. The judge will consider many factors when deciding which parent will be awarded sole custody of their child. These factors can include the emotional support between the child and family members, the parent’s interest in their child, whether abuse has played a factor in the home, and which parent is more willing and able to have a positive relationship with their child. It is at this point where the custody battle can become a little bit “messy” as parents often “air each other’s dirty laundry” in order to be awarded custody. A family law attorney, David Johnson, can help you through this process and allow you to have a much more smooth process. David Johnson provides legal assistance for both divorce and family law in Salem.
Parenting plans are a huge part of the custody process. A component of the parenting plan discusses parenting time. Parenting time addresses when a child will be with each parent and will discuss the exact amount of time each parent will have with a child. The courts do not want to get involved with the parenting plan, but they will if they have to. The courts require the parents to try to work out the plan in mediation. However, the courts will make the parenting time decisions if the parents cannot agree.