Unmarried Fathers Don’t Necessarily Have Rights to Their Child

Ronald Johnston is a capable divorce attorney practicing in Hillsboro Oregon. He has a lot of experience helping men and women in contested and uncontested paternity cases.

FATHER AND SON TALKING“Why do I need to establish paternity? I have a great relationship with the mother of my child.”

That might be the case, but without established paternity you don’t have any inherent legal rights to your child.

Establishing paternity allows both parents to:

  • Receive child custody
  • Obtain parenting time
  • Collect child support

How does one establish paternity? Ronald Johnston can help in this matter. He can also counsel parents on whether to sign a Volunteer Acknowledgement of Paternity (VAP).

Usually, a VAP is signed by the child’s mother and father shortly after birth. It must also be filed in court.

Without a VAP, the unmarried father has no rights to parenting time and the unmarried mother can move out of town (or even the country) with the child.

If the couple is married, the husband is the presumed father and a VAP is not needed.

If you need help navigating paternity law, contact Ronald Johnston today. He’s a venerated divorce attorney in Hillsboro Oregon and has more than four decades of experience practicing family law.

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A Common Mistake Made by Parents Prior to Divorce

Ronald Johnston is a competent and knowledgeable divorce attorney practicing in Beaverton Oregon. He wants to help parents avoid a common mistake related to divorce.

man and woman in conflictA very common mistake parents make during a divorce is moving out of the home while the divorce is still pending.

It’s easy to understand why a parent would move out. In doing so, they may ease tensions in the house and that can seem most beneficial to their children still living there.

However, moving out during a divorce can adversely affect their custody case.

Oregon laws are gender-neutral but courts can tend to grant sole custody to mothers more often than they do to fathers.

Part of the reason is that fathers sacrifice family time to financially provide for their family and because they often move out of the home during divorce proceedings.

Of course, more fathers are staying home to take care of their families and more mothers are becoming their families’ primary breadwinner and these factors will be considered.

Ronald Johnston has more than 40 years of experience in family law. During that time, he has worked hard to secure custody rights for both mothers and fathers.

He endeavors to secure the best results possible under the law for his clients. He believes mothers and fathers should have equal opportunities to seek parenting time with their children.

If you’re a parent going through or seeking a divorce, consider contacting Ronald Johnston, an experienced divorce attorney in Beaverton Oregon, before moving out of your residence. He’ll help you avoid mistakes that will affect child custody. Click here to contact Ronald Johnston today.

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Grandparents Must Establish Visitation Rights

It’s common for grandparents to visit a divorce attorney in Portland Oregon with the high hopes of obtaining visitation rights. Unfortunately, their hopes are quickly dashed when they learn that Oregon law doesn’t give grandparents standing to receive court-ordered visitation.

Grandparents welcoming kidsFor some grandparents, this means they must be nice to the “other parent” or risk not seeing their grandchild until he or she turns 18.

For other grandparents, this means they are seldom, if ever, allowed to see their grandchild.

Children grow up fast. Being cut-off from your grandchildren as they experience one milestone after another can be very difficult.

Grandparents do have one recourse. They can establish visitation rights, called “parenting time” in Oregon, if they were the child’s main caretaker for a period.

If this is your situation, it’s recommended that you contact an attorney with experience in establishing grandparent visitation rights.

One such attorney is Ronald Johnston. He has been practicing family law in Portland Oregon for more than four decades.

Ronald Johnston can meet with you, discuss your situation, and give you an honest assessment of whether you’ll be successful in trying to establish parenting time with your grandchild.

If you’re a grandparent seeking to establish visitation rights, contact Ronald Johnston today. He’s a knowledgeable and experienced divorce attorney practicing in Portland Oregon.

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In Oregon, Both Parents Must Agree to Joint Custody

Ronald Johnston is a respected divorce lawyer practicing in Beaverton Oregon. During his forty years of experience in family law, he has seen firsthand that joint custody can be beneficial to families.

Man and woman shaking handsThat is, if parents can put aside their differences and work together in the best interest of their child.  For non-married parents to have joint custody, they must both agree to it.

In Oregon, judges will not order joint custody. Also, if one parent changes their mind, the joint custody will be rescinded.

Joint custody is actually “joint legal custody.” That means both parents share in making decisions about, and for, their child—decisions like where to go to school, what religion to practice, what doctors to see.

Joint custody is separate from parenting time (what the State of Oregon calls visitation). The court will create a parenting schedule and will do so in the best interest of the child.

It’s theoretically possible to have joint custody but for the child to spend considerably more time with one parent than the other.

Why should you contact Ronald Johnston about joint custody?

He’s not only a leading divorce lawyer from Beaverton Oregon, but also a member of the Oregon State Bar Family Law Section Task Force on Joint Custody.  Formed in the 1980s, this task force studied joint custody and suggested legislation to benefit families.  Some of the legislation they suggested was passed and is still in use today. Contact Ronald Johnston today to learn how he can help you!

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Relocating Your Child May Not Be as Easy as You Think

Ronald Johnston is an experienced divorce lawyer practicing in Hillsboro Oregon. During his 40 years working in family law, he has fought for mothers and fathers wishing to relocate their children, and he has fought to prevent children from relocating.

young travellerIf you have a child custody order, assume that you can’t move more than 60 miles from your current residence without an agreement with your child’s other parent or with a court order.

Ultimately, the court will decide, in the best interest of the child, if a parent can relocate.

Even if you’ve been offered a higher paying job, or you’ve remarried and your new spouse has landed better employment, and you believe the extra income will be beneficial to your child, it’s still up to the court. They get to decide whether you can move. You do not.

If you have a child custody order and you move more than 60 miles from your current residence, you may face criminal prosecution. This is why it’s important to seek legal advice before relocating your child.

If you do want to relocate your child, it’s recommended that you contact a skilled divorce lawyer in Hillsboro Oregon, like Ronald Johnston, as quickly as possible. One of the biggest mistakes parents make when wanting to relocate a child is waiting until the last minute. Contact Ronald Johnston today!

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When Can A Child Custody Order Be Modified?

Ronald Johnston is a skilled divorce lawyer practicing in Portland Oregon. He has more than 40 years of experience working with mothers and fathers to ensure that a custody order serves their needs and the needs of their children.

teenager doing homeworkOne of the questions mothers and fathers routinely ask Ronald Johnston is when can a child custody order be modified?

In Oregon, the principle governing child custody orders is the best interest of the child.  For this reason, there are only three instances which would allow you to modify a child custody order:

  • When both parents agree to modify an existing order. If this happens, the court can sign off on the change or hold a hearing.
  • When three years have lapsed since the child custody order had been issued, reviewed, or modified. This is to prevent parents constantly changing a child custody order and creating chaos in their offspring’s life.
  • When there’s been a significant change to the circumstances of you, your child, or your child’s other parent. If you believe there’s been a significant change, you can ask the court to modify the child custody order.

Ronald Johnston, a knowledgeable and experienced divorce lawyer practicing in Portland Oregon, can help you understand the options for modifying an existing child custody order.  Contact Ronald Johnston today!

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What Are Your Visitation Rights If the Other Parent Has Sole Custody?

Ronald Johnston is one of the most tenacious and committed divorce lawyers practicing in Hillsboro Oregon. Not only is he knowledgeable and capable, but he also has 40 years of experience practicing family law.

Father with daughter on shouldersDuring those four decades, Ronald Johnston has fought for mothers and fathers seeking custody of their children. He’s aware that child custody cases are emotional and complicated.

One of the many questions parents ask him is concerning visitation rights. Specifically, what are a parent’s visitation rights if the other parent has sole custody?

In Oregon, visitation is called “parenting time.” A parenting time schedule not only details when a child gets to live with each parent, but details major parental tasks.

Parenting time plans are court endorsed.

Having parenting time also gives you the right to access your child’s medical records as well as other important information.

The parent with custody is called the custodial parent. The parent without custody is called the non-custodial parent.

If you’re the non-custodial parent, you have the right to seek parenting time in the best interest of your child.

If you’re the non-custodial parent, and you want parenting time with your child, contact Ronald Johnston as soon as possible. He’s one of the most experienced divorce lawyers practicing in Hillsboro Oregon and he’d love to help you with your child custody issues.

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What Is the Difference Between Sole Custody and Joint Custody?

Ronald Johnston is one of the most knowledgeable and capable divorce lawyers practicing in Beaverton Oregon. He has more than four decades of experience fighting for the rights of mothers and fathers who are trying to obtain custody of their child.

Family Figures on Calendar PageDivorce often leads to custody issues between parents. Ronald Johnston helps his clients navigate this complex and emotionally charged area of the law.

One of the ways Ronald Johnston helps his clients is by explaining the difference between sole custody and joint custody.

Sole custody is when one parent gets to make all the important decisions regarding their children. For example, this parent is making decisions about their child’s health care, education, and religion.

Joint custody means both parents share legal custody and in making those big decisions about their child.

Joint custody does not necessarily mean the child will live with both parents for an equal amount of time. The child’s schedule will be dictated by “parenting time.” The court will endorse a parenting time schedule based on the best interest of the child.

If you fear that you are headed for a custody battle, don’t call just any of the many divorce lawyers practicing in Beaverton Oregon. Contact Ronald Johnston, he has forty years of experience practicing family law.

 

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How is Child Custody Determined in Oregon?

There are many divorce lawyers based in Portland Oregon, but few have the experience of Ronald Johnston. He has been practicing family law for more than 40 years.

mother and baby at homeOne of the questions Ronald Johnston is frequently asked is how is child custody determined in Oregon.

Some counties in Oregon require parents to participate in mediation. The goal of this mediation is to give a chance for parents to settle their custody disputes.

If you’re in a county that doesn’t require a mediation, chances are good that your lawyer, and the other parent’s lawyer, will try to solve your custody dispute through negotiation.

If your child custody issues can’t be solved through mediation or negotiation, you’ll have to go to court. A judge will then award custody based on the best interests of the child.

In Oregon, joint custody can only be awarded if both parents agree.

Ronald Johnston can help you through the mediation process, he can negotiate with the other parent’s lawyer, and he can represent you during a trail. He can also help you modify a current custody order.

If you believe that you’ll need help with a family law matter, don’t call just any of the myriad of divorce lawyers practicing in Portland Oregon. Instead, contact one who has four decades of experience practicing family law. Contact Ronald Johnston today!

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What You Need to Know About Child Custody Evaluations

Ronald Johnston, one of the most experienced divorce lawyers in Portland Oregon, wants parents to know all about child custody evaluations.

child making a choiceIn contested custody cases, an expert evaluator is tasked with interviewing and assessing parents, children, and references. Then, this evaluator makes a recommendation to the court about custody.

These child custody evaluations are not binding, but Oregon courts generally follow their advice. Therefore, it’s very important to choose the right expert and then cooperate with this expert.

Evaluators are usually psychologists, psychiatrists, and social workers. They can be from the private or public sector.

Both parties have a say in hiring the evaluator. If they can’t decide on an evaluator, the court will appoint one.

The selection of an evaluator is very important. That’s why it’s important to have someone like Ronald Johnston on your side. He has experience working with many evaluators. He knows what each one is looking for and how they react to different situations.

Evaluators interview the parents and the child. They may interview them separately or together. The evaluator may also interview other family members, friends, and third parties.

Of all the divorce lawyers in Portland Oregon, Ronald Johnston is one of the most experienced at counseling clients through a child custody evaluation. To contact Ronald Johnston, click here.

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