Child Custody and Parenting Time LawOver the years, the legislature has refined many aspects of how child custody cases are handled. In almost all cases, they designed these changes to protect the interests of children in divorce. Attorneys from Gevurtz Menashe helped to write and refine many of the laws that now govern child custody and parenting time in Oregon.
Child custody is divided into two kinds-legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody gives a parent the right and responsibility to make decisions for a child regarding such primary issues as health care, education, and religion.
There may be sole legal custody or joint legal custody. With sole legal custody, the right to make major decisions for a child rests with just one parent. If there is joint legal custody, the parents agree to discuss with each other what is best for their child and to make a joint decision. In Oregon, joint legal custody must be awarded if both parents agree. By contrast, a court cannot order joint legal custody if either parent objects.
Within the designation of custody, there may also be "split custody". Split custody occurs when some children are in the legal custody of each parent.
Physical custody refers to which parent actually has the child at any one time. Depending on how physical custody is divided between the parents, "parenting time" is determined for the non-custodial parent. Parenting time refers to the amount of time the children spend with the non-custodial parent. It is what used to be called "visitation."