Children want and deserve to have two actively involved parents, when that is possible. Awards of custody of minor children are required to be in the children’s best interests, and refers to the legal custody arrangement. This means that only the legal custodian is permitted to make decisions regarding issues such as the children’s educational placement, religious instruction, changes in appearance (haircuts, tattoos, piercings, etc.), and non-emergency health-related care.
Physical custody is typically shared in some manner in all but the rarest of cases. This means that both parents enjoy time with the child in a shared schedule according to a Parenting Plan. The parents may have equal time, or there may be one primary parent with the other parent having more sporadic time.
In Oregon, the courts are authorized to approve and order joint legal custody only when both parents agree. In the absence of agreement, or if either parent objects to joint custody, the court must award sole legal custody to one parent or the other.
It is important to know that having sole legal custody does not entitle a parent to dictate the other parent’s time with the child, as parenting time is determined by the Parenting Plan.
At Eaton Family Law & Mediation, LLC, we understand the highly emotional considerations that are a part of each Parenting Plan and custodial arrangement. Our professional legal team guides our clients to consider what is truly in the children’s best interests, regardless of any animosity that may exist between the parents.