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Jeffrey K. Traylor
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Jeffrey Traylor’s Answers

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  • I have joint custody of my 2 kids but some things were not clear in the original order, can I lose custody if I go back to court

    I have had an order in place for over 3 years now, but some things like specific pickup / dropoff times (days were in it but not times) and birthdays and holidays were not clearly covered. Now my ex keeps them whenever the whim hits and I have no ...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    There is always a risk that when you go to court you may lose. If either you or the other parent ask the court to make a custody decision it will. Joint custody is only awarded by agreement. That said, based on what you posted I would recommend mediation in your case. It sounds like the problems you are having are more logistical in nature rather than substantive. If I was in your situation I would give a call or write an email to the other party and lay the cards out on the table. Let them know that you would rather avoid going to court if possible but the two of you need to address the problems and set some rules. I don't think you lose much in your situation (at least from what I know about it) by abandoning the trial by ambush route.

    If you attend mediation and it is successful you could file a stipulated supplemental judgment by agreement that addresses some of the issues you are having with a more detailed parenting plan. This will almost certainly be less expensive than litigation.

    Remember, when you go to court you are asking a judge to make a decision that will greatly affect your life, and that judge will have about six hours to get to know you and your situation. That decision will then bind you for years. It is almost always better to try to work things out by agreement first if possible. The agreement you can live with can be much better than the ruling you can't.

    I would recommend contacting an older mediator, preferably a former judge, that practices near where you live. In my experience such individuals tend to be the most effective. I would also be happy to mediate for you if you want to give it a shot. Good luck. -Jeff

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  • Can a lawyer help me with the process of getting my girlfriend in a foster home?

    Can a lawyer help me with the process of getting my girlfriend in a foster home because of bad family situations, Drug abuse by the parents, verbal and physical violence ect..ect... 1. Can a lawyer help with this process? 2. If so what type of...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    The thing to do in this situation is as Jay says, call the child abuse hotline. Your girlfriend can also follow up with the child welfare division of DHS in Deschutes County at 541-388-6161. If what is happening at her home amounts to neglect or abuse DHS will send an officer out to the home to conduct a welfare check, and may very well open a detailed investigation into the situation. If DHS determines that the home is unsafe or unfit, they will remove your girlfriend from the home and being the process of attempting to place her. Sometimes this is done with other family members, and sometimes this is done within the foster care system if no family members are available. You may also want to remind your girlfriend that child abuse is a crime in and of itself, aside from the assault and battery that may be taking place. If she every fears for her immediate safety or is the victim of physical abuse her first call should be to 911. Good luck.

    Jeff

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  • Is it legal in the state of Oregon for the parent to withhold the birth certificate and social security card from the child?

    Is it legal to withhold it when the child turn 18?

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    This is an interesting question that have not previously come across. Assuming that the child is a minor and is not emancipated I am not aware of any law that would prevent a parent from withholding the social security card or the birth certificate. Such a withholding could be a perfectly appropriate exercise of parenting if the parent wished to forbid the child from traveling or getting a job. That said, I am not aware of any reason that the child or other parent couldn't march down to the vital statistics office and request a new birth certificate. The same is true for requesting a new social security card.

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  • In oregon statutory restraining order what is the punishment of selling marital asscets without other parties consent?

    My soon to be ex-wife has sold our registered German short hair litter of puppies about $7000 and then has gotten rid of the breeding pair that i am co-owner of with out my knowledge or consent

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    I'm sorry that your soon to be ex-wife did this without your consent. Jay is correct in that you may want to request a hearing on the violation but he is incorrect when he says there is no "punishment" for violation. A violation of the statutory restraining order is subject to remedial contempt sanctions under ORS 33.055 and ORS 107.093.

    In general, courts are very displeased when parties violate the statutory restraining order during the pendency of a case and will very likely increase your share of the martial property when ruling at trial. I have also seen courts order VERY hefty attorney awards to the party that files to enforce the order (in this case you) or requests remedial contempt when it is violated. You may want to remedy this sooner rather than later because existing assets are better than judgments later when no assets are left to pay them off. If memory serves there is an appropriate saying regarding birds, hands, and bushes.

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  • My sons father has my son, and he recently got married. We won't give me his new address to where my son is at.

    I haven't seen him in over 3 years. I want to know how do I go about by getting joint cusitody? They moved to California 5 years ago.

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    The answer to your question (and whether or not I can give you an answer) depends on whether there is an existing custody judgment in Oregon. If a case was never filed in Oregon regarding custody of your son then California has jurisdiction and you will need to consult a California lawyer. That said, I will answer the remainder of your question as if there was a case filed in Oregon previously.

    If there was a prior judgment in Oregon then Oregon still has jurisdiction under the UCCJEA (Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act) exclusive continuing jurisdiction provision until such a time as you both parents and a child no longer live in the state or an Oregon judge determines that Oregon should no longer have jurisdiction (jurisdiction means "right" of a state to hear a case). Under ORS 107.164, unless the court ordered something different, your son's father has a legal obligation to provide you with his address. If he fails to do so he would be in violation of any existing Oregon custody judgment.

    With regard to joint custody the other attorney's that answered your question are correct in that Oregon can't award joint custody unless the parties agree to it. That said, I think what you are after might be "parenting time" rather than custody. It is easy to mistake the two. Loosely speaking, custody refers to the decision making ability of a parent with regard to major life decisions of the child that effect both parents while parenting time is who gets to be with the child when. A good analogy is that custody is like the title to a car whereas parenting time is like the keys.

    Unless you have some really horrible skeletons in your closet you will very likely get "parenting time" with your son once you file a case requesting it. If Oregon has jurisdiction then you would file a motion to modify the existing order, if California has jurisdiction then you would have to file a motion in that state. In either case these matters are very complicated and I would recommend you contacting in attorney in the correct state depending on the analysis I posted above. I hope this helps, and good luck.

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  • Modify a status quo order regarding child custody

    During a divorce, is it possible to motion to modify an existing status quo temporary child custody order if the parenting plan has changed significantly? For example if the child suddenly hasn't seen the other parent for a month.

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    Jay is correct in that if the status quo order is already in place you wouldn't be able to modify it unless it was inaccurate at the time it was filed. You may still request that the court make a temporary order for custody, parenting time, or any other relief present in ORS 107.095(1) however. If the parenting plan has changed in practice the court may very well find that the status quo should be modified via temporary order to codify what is currently in place.

    In general, a child custody case begins with a status quo, moves on to a temporary order, and ends with a final determination at trial or through settlement. Although that is the quick and dirty of the timeline in a domestic relations custody matter I hope that you find it helpful in understanding your current situation. Good luck,

    Jeffrey K. Traylor

    www.multnomahlegal.com

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  • My significant other is in the middle of a court case. Will I get pulled in too?

    My significant other (not married) and I live together and she is in the middle of a court case against her ex in which she was the witness to a crime he did. I have a previous record from a couple years ago from before I even met her. Are the pol...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    Jay and Joanne are largely correct. If you didn't witness the act that your significant other witnessed it is highly unlikely that you would be called to testify. If it is your prior record that you are concerned about you shouldn't be. If an adverse party attempted to discredit your significant other by pointing out that he or she is seeing or lives with someone with a record such evidence would be absolutely inadmissible.

    Assuming you didn't witness the event, the only way you would ever be called in would be to testify as to your significant other's "reputation for truth telling within the community". In that situation you would be a poor witness because of your relationship. Sleep easy.

    Jeffrey K. Traylor

    www.multnomahlegal.com

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  • Licence was suspended for back child support

    Ex is willing to sign off on all back support [i have provided a rent/tax free residence for her for the past 13 years] what steps or papers filed ect... do i need done?

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    To begin, I think it's best to see an attorney on this issue to make sure that things are done correctly. The analysis in situations such as these can be contingent upon a few different factors. That said, generally, the individual that you owe child support to can sign a satisfaction of judgment if they wish for your arrears to go away (short and best case scenario answer), however, if some of your arrears are owed to the state it might not be that simple.

    If your ex has been on public assistance, some of the money that you owe in back child support may in fact be owed to the state. In that situation your ex does not have the authority to waive the arrears (back support). If you have been providing a great deal of your ex's actual support, the state may work with you to alleviate some or all of the money you owe, but if the state has been providing health care, food stamps, or some other state assistance you will need to work with them directly.

    I hope this gives you some place to start and\or helps you to learn what you still need to investigate to find out what it will take to handle this situation. The reality is though that whether or not you are fully informed as to the nature of your back support, this situation will require a great deal of paperwork and you may want to consult a lawyer in your community to help you out.

    Jeffrey K. Traylor

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  • Can I fire lawyer in custody case 2 days before trial.

    I am scheduled for trial in a custody case in 2 days. My lawyer thinks I will lose and I have little faith in her ability to represent me to my satisfaction. Can I fire attorney on day of trial? If so, can judge refuse to give me a continuance? Op...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    I often tell my clients directly, "you didn't hire me to tell you what you want to hear, you hired me to tell you the truth". When I say that, I mean it. There are situations where your lawyer will disagree with the course of action that you have chosen, but that doesn't mean they won't represent you will zeal and professionalism. That said, if your don't trust your counsel, you shouldn't work with them.

    You absolutely can fire your lawyer two days before trial, but without knowing more about your matter I think it is likely that the judge will not grant your motion to continue the trial absent your lawyer behaving in some manner that is egregiously against your interest or otherwise unethically. If you choose to fire your lawyer shortly before trial that is your prerogative, but you may then be resigning yourself to an unrepresented trial. If the other side doesn't have any out of town witnesses or there are no time sensitive issues in your case the Judge may grant your motion at the last minute, but you should tread carefully.

    A lawyer that doesn't share your world view is still a lawyer, and as long as they represent you they are ethically and professionally bound to represent you to the best of their ability. They know the rules, they know the game, and they are on your side. I would be wary to cast that aside simply because they forecast bad weather, especially on such short notice. In any event, I wish you good luck.

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  • If I file for divorce and serve my wife the papers, what recoarse do I have if she refuses to sign ?

    I have had papers drawn up on line for an uncontested divorce. We have no children, no property and both work. I have agreed to let her take what furniture she wants. She says that she wants a lawyer to look at them to make sure that she is not ta...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    Absolutely. Once you file your petition for dissolution (divorce paperwork) the other side has 30 days to respond. If the opposing party does not respond you can file a order of default, and eventually a default judgment wherein the court grants you everything you asked for in your petition, including a divorce. If the opposing party does file a response the matter will be docketed for trial and you will eventually be asking a judge for what you want if you don't agree by trial. Once the case is underway, depending on the county you are in you will be able to take advantage of free or cheap mediation services.

    At the end of the day and in the real world, many people will drag their feet as long as you let them. Once you file officially, you will find the opposing party either magically has enough money to get an attorney, or will be much more willing to talk it over. Good luck!

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