February 7, 2010

Oregon’s Parenting Policy

When consulting with Oregon parents about parenting time and parenting plans, I get lots of questions about what kind of parenting time a judge might order.  There is a lot of misinformation about what Judges do in setting or modifying parenting plans.  A common concern I hear, even from very involved parents,  is about loosing rights with the kids, or having very limited parenting time with their children.  This has been made worse by some Oregon counties having restricted parenting plans posted as examples on their websites.  It is actually the policy of the State of Oregon to provide substantial parenting time to good parents.  ORS 107.101 provides that it is the policy of this state to:

(1) Assure minor children of frequent and continuing contact with parents who have shown the ability to act in the best interests of the child;

(2) Encourage such parents to share in the rights and responsibilities of raising their children after the parents have separated or dissolved their marriage;

(3) Encourage parents to develop their own parenting plan with the assistance of legal and mediation professionals, if necessary;

(4) Grant parents and courts the widest discretion in developing a parenting plan; and

(5) Consider the best interests of the child and the safety of the parties in developing a parenting plan.

Involved good parents should get substantial time with the children.  If you have been a good involved parent and your ex is trying to limit your time, you should talk to an experienced family law attorney.