Upon completion of your divorce or custody case, a legally binding judgement will determine two key aspects regarding your children: legal custody and parenting time (visitation).
Legal custody determines who has the legal authority and obligation to make decisions on the child's upbringing. These decisions include education, health care, and religious upbringing. There are two types of legal custody: Joint Legal Custody and Sole Legal Custody. With joint legal custody, both parents share responsibility to make decisions on the child's behalf. If a parent is awarded sole legal custody, that parent has the legal authority to make all decisions on raising the child.
In Oregon, if parents do not agree to share legal custody, the court cannot award joint legal custody; one parent will be awarded sole custody and the other parent will be awarded parenting time. A common misconception is that parents who have joint legal custody have a 50-50 split of parenting time. This may not be the case.
A parenting plan includes a schedule outlining parenting time for each parent. Typical parenting plans include a weekly or monthly schedule of each parent's time with the children as well as provisions for holidays and school breaks. Additional issues that can be addressed in a parenting plan include rules surrounding transportation of the children, pick up and drop off of the children, and communication between parents.
If parents cannot agree on custody and parenting time, the court will make a decision based on the child's best interest. When determining the best interests of a child, the court will consider a number of factors including which parent has been the primary caretaker, the relationship between the child and other family members, and whether one parent has abused the other.
At Matthys Family Law I help clients create parenting plans centered on the developmental needs of their children and their family life style. I understand what it takes to create parenting plans that support a cooperative coparent relationship and stability for children.
If parents are unable to reach an agreement regarding custody and parenting time, I have practiced family law for 19 years and can litigate your case and assist you in reaching the best possible outcome.
Matthys Family Law specializes in Divorce and Custody issues. Custody services includes: