In family law matters, there are many terms that are thrown around when discussing parental rights. Here are some of the most common terms and an explanation of what they mean:
Custody — In Oregon, “custody” refers to the right to make important decisions about minor children, such as where they live, where they go to school, and which doctor or hospital is used for their primary health care. Parenting time, or visitation, is a separate and distinct legal term from custody. Judges in Oregon are encouraged to facilitate substantial parenting time to parents who have shown themselves to act in the best interest of the children. Under Oregon law, both parents — father and mother — have the same rights to parent the children.
Joint custody — If the parties can agree on most major decisions, then “joint custody” may be appropriate. With joint custody, the parties agree on major decisions, including the school, doctor and the primary residence of the children. The downside to joint custody is that the agreement is not permanent. A joint custody order can be changed or modified any time, if one parent does not agree on the major decisions with the other parent.
Parenting Plans — Oregon courts encourage parents to work out “parenting plans” so that both parents spend substantial visitation, or parenting time, with the children, if the plan is in the best interest of the children. Some counties have standard parenting plans. These plans are often ordered when the parties are unable or unwilling to work out their own parenting plan.
Make Sure You Understand Your Custody/Parenting Time Agreement
Custody and parenting time are two of the most important decisions one can make. It is important to make sure you understand any agreement that sets forth your rights to custody or parenting time. Call a lawyer if you do not understand your rights or if you do not completely understand or agree with the written custody agreement and parenting plan.
Do You Have Questions About Your Parental Rights?
At Charles Vincent & Associates, we are dedicated to helping our clients maintain strong relationships with their children. If you are looking to establish your parental rights or preserve your existing rights, we can help. We encourage you to schedule an appointment to speak with our experienced family law attorneys. Call our Eugene office at 541-687-6765 or complete our online contact form to send us an email.
We represent clients in Eugene, Springfield and throughout southern Oregon. We have offices in Eugene and Coos Bay.
Our extensive experience allows us to help our clients achieve the best outcome in each case. We protect our clients’ rights with the utmost in privacy and discretion.