Mothers’ and Fathers’ Rights

Our Portland Custody Lawyer Advocates for Parental Rights

Oregon custody laws are gender-neutral, and the public policy of our state favors frequent and continuing contact of both parents with their children. Portland custody attorney Ronald Allen Johnston feels strongly that both mothers and fathers should have equal opportunities to pursue custody and parenting time with their children. He represents both mothers and fathers in advocating for child custody rights, and his mission is always to obtain the best results possible under the law for his clients. He also holds a special reputation as an advocate for fathers’ rights to equal opportunities to parent their children.

Rights of Married Mothers and Fathers

Although the law is gender-neutral, courts more frequently grant sole child custody to mothers. This reflects the reality that in child custody cases, the courts look to the past to see which parent was the “primary” caretaker of the child. Now more than ever, fathers are taking on the role as primary parent to their children, although many have sacrificed parental time due to career advancement to provide for their families. Of course, many mothers and fathers each have their own careers and each contribute to children in their own way. If parents agree, they can have joint custody and draft parenting time plans where each has liberal amounts of time with the children.

A common mistake fathers often make is to move out of the marital residence while divorcing to maintain the peace for the children’s benefit. Unfortunately, this is often detrimental to the father’s custody case. The bottom line for both mothers and fathers is to seek counsel of a qualified family law attorney before moving out of the marital residence as that action will affect custody.

Rights of Unmarried Fathers

Unmarried fathers have the same rights as unmarried mothers; however, an extra step is required to establish an unmarried father’s legal paternity. This step is required to obtain custody or parenting time. Unmarried fathers have the opportunity to sign a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (“VAP”) at the hospital where the child is born to establish paternity. If the father did not have an opportunity to sign a VAP, either he or the mother can establish his legal paternity in a court of law.

Defending Parental Rights in the Courtroom

Parents need a respected Portland family attorney who thinks like a trial judge and who knows how trial judges want the facts and issues of the case presented. In addition, parents need legal counsel who will honestly tell them if a custody case is viable and should be litigated, or if they should cut their losses by settling the case.

Ronald Allen Johnston has over 40 years of experience defending parental rights and parenting time, and he is a relentless advocate for parental rights in the courtroom. When selecting a lawyer for your custody case, consider Ronald Allen Johnston’s credentials and experience. Time is of the essence in child custody and relocation cases, so contact our firm today to schedule a consultation and to learn more about your parental rights as a mother or father.

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