Gresham Child Support Lawyers
In a divorce, issues involving the children can be among the most hotly contested. It is the goal of your attorney to ensure that the procedure runs smoothly and in the most professional manner possible. Whether your questions center on child support, child custody or parenting plans, it is wise to seek the counsel of a skilled legal professional as soon as possible. Often it is wise to hire a custody-parenting time evaluator who is a trained social worker to help determine what is the best way that both parents can be involved in their children’s lives.
Multnomah/Clackamas County Child Custody Attorneys
Often the parties can make decisions regarding the best interest of their children without resorting to court. This may be because one parent is available during times the other parent is not or that it is not appropriate to share custody decisions. If you are not agreeing to which parent should be awarded custody, it is wise to consider the ground rules established in the Oregon family law statutes. The following factors are established when deciding which parent shall be given custody of minor children:
- The emotional ties between the child and other family members
- The interest of the parent and attitude toward the child
- The existing relationship
- The abuse of one parent by another
Regardless which parent has primary or sole custody, the other parent will have regular and reasonable parenting time with the children based on the needs of the children, their school needs and where each parent lives in relation to the other. Oregon law calls this visitation schedule a “parenting plan.” Joint custody may be appropriate if both parties can work together (see parenting time for more detail). In general, joint custody will work only if both parents communicate and cooperate with each other. Disagreement over custody and time sharing is guaranteed to put you right in the middle of a contested and expensive divorce or custody action.
Of course, it is best if the parties can agree on how to structure their children’s time and major decisions without assistance, but when parents cannot, family mediation is often helpful and required in some Oregon courts. Another resource is the use of trained and experienced professionals. This may involve family counselors trained to assist the parents in deciding what is best for the children. Because this is a difficult choice the use of trained professionals can be helpful and if you are required to go to court, the judge will listen to the opinion of this expert. However, if the expense is outside of your financial ability, the judge is well-trained in making this decision also. Oregon requires that parents complete a parenting class designed to stress the importance of both parents remaining a part of their children’s lives. Many counties, including Multnomah County, require the parents to at least attempt parenting time mediation to assist the parties in making this decision before the matter can be presented to a trial court.
Multnomah/Clackamas County Parenting Time Attorneys
After the parents make a decision regarding custody, a parenting time plan is required to establish the roadmap that is the outline of the time each parent will have with the children. The state of Oregon has prepared a guideline and suggested methods to create a parenting plan that may work for you. However, parenting time plans can be as individual as your family’s needs. The court will usually approve a parenting plan when you and your spouse agree to the terms. There are many schedules that work, but a typical schedule is alternating weekends, dividing the summer months into longer times with each parent, rotate birthdays, Christmas and other holidays, plus additional or different times as you may agree upon. Your attorney or mediator can assist you with developing a plan, or a professional may be used if you do not agree. Ultimately, it will be up to the judge if you are unable to resolve a dispute over parenting time. If this is contested, you may wish the input of a family counselor to assist in arriving at a workable parenting plan.
Gresham Child Support Attorneys
In Oregon, child support is largely determined by a calculation based on the child support guidelines established by the state of Oregon following federal guidelines. While this number is arrived at in a formulaic manner, it is wise to work with a skilled lawyer to ensure that the result is accurate. This calculation is reviewed and changed every several years so if your child support award is from a judgment entered years ago, the amount of child support may need to be reviewed. Several factors must be examined, including income, educational costs, health care premiums, and extracurricular activities. The state of Oregon through Child Support Services may be able to help you without needing a lawyer, but if there are unusual factors, you may wish to review the amount with one of our lawyers. If these numbers are not fully investigated, child support payments could be calculated incorrectly and once they are established, it is difficult to make changes without a significant change for many years. Contact Gresham Family & Bankruptcy Law to learn more about how our firm can help you.
Contact The Firm
If you have concerns regarding child support and child custody, we encourage you to contact Gresham Family & Bankruptcy Law. We can be reached at 503-492-4229 or by completing the online contact form on this website. Our attorneys can meet outside of our standard 9 to 5 office hours based on the individual needs of our clients.
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