When divorce or separation affects an Oregon family, parents often worry about what the change will do to their children. It can be stressful and traumatic for a single household to be split into two, and the stress of figuring out how best to care for children in the wake of the end of a relationship can be very difficult. Family law and divorce attorneys are excellent sources of information for parents with questions about these processes.
Generally, though, child custody laws dictate how parents will continue to share the duties of child rearing once their relationship is over. This informational post will introduce readers to three important facts that they should know about child custody in Oregon. No part of this post should be read as specific legal advice and all questions should be directed to trusted local attorneys.
Fact #1: Child custody can be determined by agreement
It is generally believed that only courts can make decisions about child custody once a marriage ends. However, parents can work together to create child custody agreements that prioritize the best interests of their children. If parents can work out their own child custody agreements, courts can adopt those agreements into final divorce decrees or issue those agreements as orders. When parents cannot establish their own child custody agreements, courts may intervene and settle such matters themselves.
Fact #2: Child custody concerns both legal and physical matters
Sometimes child custody is only considered as where a child will live following the divorce or separation of their parents. However, child custody also involves legal rights and the powers of parents to stay involved in the decision-making processes of raising their children. While ensuring that the physical needs of children are met is important, child custody also assigns rights and responsibilities to parents to make decisions about the educational, religious, and medical needs of their kids.
Fact #3: Child custody looks different for different families
Decisions about child custody matters are made on case-by-case bases. That is because the circumstances and facts related to different family situations can warrant different outcomes when it comes to the raising of children following the end of a parental relationship. While for one family, joint custody may make sense, for another, sole custody to one parent with visitation to the other may be more reasonable. Parents should not rely on the outcomes of other child custody cases to guess what may happen with their own legal proceedings.
Child custody matters can be overwhelming and intimidating for parents who are under stress. Support from family law attorneys can make a difference in both the knowledge and confidence parents have in entering their child custody negotiations. No parent must face child custody matters on their own, and family law attorneys are prepared to help parents work through their difficulties in an out of court.