Child Custody FAQ

Our Portland Family Lawyer Understands the Complexities of Child Custody Matters

Our Portland family lawyer Ronald Allen Johnston has more than 37 years of experience upholding the rights of both mothers and fathers who are struggling to obtain a fair custody order. This experience has offered Attorney Johnston the ability to foresee custody agreement issues arising because of a divorce or other family law matters. We will work with you in this complex area of the law, and help you understand your legal options so that you and your family can move past these difficult times.

The following questions are common topics the clients of our firm ask our Portland family attorney regarding Oregon child custody law. If you would like more information concerning these answers or if you did not find your question answered below, call Ronald Johnston at (503) 226-7986.


How is child custody determined in Oregon?

Parents are required by some Oregon counties to participate in mediation to attempt to resolve their child custody disputes without the need to go to trial. If the parents do not reach an agreement through their attorneys or in mediation, both parents will have to go to court. In Oregon, joint custody can only be awarded if both parents agree. If parents cannot come to an agreement, a judge will appoint one parent as sole custodian based on the best interests of the child. Our Portland family attorney Ronald Allen Johnston can assist you throughout the child custody process by negotiating with the other parent, working on your behalf in mediation, representing you at trial or by filing a modification to change an existing child custody order.
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What is the difference between legally custody and physical custody?

Sole custody means that one parent makes all the decisions regarding the children.  Joint custody allows both mothers and fathers to share legal custody and have equal say in parenting decisions such as the upbringing of the child, their education, health and religion, as well as other important issues. Parenting time is a concept different custody describes how one parent will act as the primary physical custodian, or the household in which the child will primarily live. If only one parent has physical custody or if you have joint physical custody but are the parent in which the child spends a little less time with, the law defines this parent as a noncustodial parent. Noncustodial parents will need to work with a Portland family lawyer to work out a satisfactory parenting time plan, which will potentially affect child support payments.
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What are my visitation rights if the other person has parent has sole custody?

If your child does not live with you, you may have the right to seek visitation in the best interests of the child. In the state of Oregon, visitation is called parenting time. A parenting time plan is a court-endorsed legal agreement that spells out how mothers and fathers will share the parental responsibilities, as well as what days and times a joint custodial or noncustodial parent will spend with their child. You also have rights to receive medical and other records and information about your children.  To ensure that the law upholds your best interests when drafting a parenting time plan, contact our Portland family attorney today to pursue legal representation.
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