An order granted by the court establishing who has legal authority to make decisions about the child.

In Oregon, courts do not have the authority to order joint custody unless both parents agree to it. A joint custody arrangement can be positive for parents who can continue to constructively communicate and engage in joint legal decision-making for their children after their divorce is final. So what happens when the parties do not agree and joint custody just isn’t feasible? One parent will get sole custody.

The court will make decisions about custody and parenting time by determining what arrangements would be in the children's best interests. Many Oregon courts require parents to attend a parenting class or mediation so that they can better understand how to work together and focus on their children's needs.

If you are not granted sole custody of your children, you still have certain rights with regard to your children. Unless the court says otherwise, both parents continue to have the authority to:

  • inspect and receive school records and consult with school staff concerning the child’s welfare and education;
  • inspect and receive governmental agency and law enforcement records concerning the child;
  • consult with any person who may provide care or treatment for the child and inspect and receive the child’s medical, dental and psychological records;
  • authorize emergency medical, dental, psychological, psychiatric or other health care for the child if the custodial parent is, for practical purposes, unavailable; and
  • apply to be the child’s conservator, guardian ad litem, or both. (ORS 107.154)

The non-custodial parent has the important rights enumerated above and should take the time to stay informed about their children’s lives. The non-custodial parent can be just as involved with their children’s education, medical treatment and general well being, even though that parent may not ultimately make the major decisions. The attorneys at SK&H can help you take advantage of these important rights during and after a divorce.

At Stahancyk, Kent & Hook, P.C., we can assist you in making informed choices when facing some of the most important decisions in your and your children's lives. Our attorneys can help you determine a plan to successfully navigate the issues facing you. CLICK HERE for new client information.

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