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C Sean Stephens

C Stephens’s Answers

5 total

  • I have a small child under 1 years old and have been the primary parent. The father now wants to be in the picture.

    I only want the father to have supervised visits. He has a history of domestic violence. He has been convicted twice ( I was not involved). He is currently on probation for both convictions and he in on probation for a DUI and drug and alcohol as ...

    C’s Answer

    The father has no enforceable rights to see the child until paternity has been established. He cannot force you to allow visits with the child, nor can he take your son to another state without your consent. The father can petition the court to establish paternity, and if he is found to be the legal father, the court can determine custody, parenting time, and set child support. Courts look to the child's best interests in determining what parenting time is appropriate. If the Father's behavior may cause harm to the child during parenting time, the court may supervise his time. You should consult with an experienced family law attorney if the father serves you with legal paperwork regarding visits, or you want to provide him visits with enforceable rules and restrictions.

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  • What do I do when a 3 year old is afraid of her dad?

    I have a child whom is almost 3 and she gets upset and screams at the mention of her dad. she gets ill during visits and people around them say she cries the whole weekend. We have been seperated most of her life. Almost 2 years now and she is get...

    C’s Answer

    What you should do depends on whether custody has already been determined, and the impact of the visits on your child. If custody has not been determined, you should consult with a lawyer about filing to establish custody and set parenting time. The court will look at ORS 107.137 and the child's best interests in determining custody and a parenting plan. If custody and parenting time have already been established, you could file a motion to modify his parenting time as is in your child's best interests. If the level of distress is so high as to place your child in an immediate danger, a court might be willing to intervene and temporarily limit his time.

    You also have some good out of court options. Try talking to the father about the problem, and see if he will voluntarily change the schedule. Try mediating, either through the county or privately. Consider counseling to help address what is really going on.

    You should talk to an experienced family law lawyer to help determine which choice is the best for you and your family.

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  • My 16 year old granddaughter wants to live with me. Can she without her father's permission? She has an unkind step-mother .

    Can my 16 year old granddaughter choose to live with me when her father is out of town working? Her mother is deceased. Her step-mother is emotionally abusive to her when her father is not home. I have raised her nearly from the time she was 18 mo...

    C’s Answer

    Having her move in with you without the father's consent or without a court order is legally risky at best. In Oregon, there is a presumption in ORS 109.119 that a legal parent acts in the best interests of their children, even if the "act' is to place a child with a stepparent over a grandparent. Oregon courts can provide remedies for third parties like grandparents to obtain visitation and contact rights, or even custody of children, but it can be a hard fight. You should talk to a local experienced family law attorney to see if ORS 109.119 can help your situation.

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  • New evidence of marital property

    I have clear evidence that my former spouse withdrew marital assets before the settlement and failed to disclose them. The divorce was final 14 months ago in Oregon. What legal recourse do I have?

    C’s Answer

    If assets were omitted from the distribution, the court provides two remedies depending on whether the omission was accidental or intentional. If the assets were inadvertently omitted, the court can divide the omitted asset as is just and proper. If the omission was intentional, the court can order (1) The forfeiture of the omitted assets to the injured party; (2) A compensatory judgment in favor of the injured party; (3) A judgment in favor of the injured party as punitive damages; (4) or any other distribution as may be just and proper in all the circumstances. The court can order attorney fees depending on the omitting parties conduct.

    Time limitations apply. You should speak to a local experienced family law attorney to determine the appropriate course of action.

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  • Can the father of my child keep me from moving out of state without a court ordered document? And how long does it take?

    I will be moving out of state and I currently have no legal custody agreement. can I be forced to NOT move? If I already live out of state can I be forced to move back?

    C’s Answer

    The father cannot keep you from moving out of state without a court document, but that doesn't mean you should move without consulting a lawyer regarding the potential consequences of your actions. If paternity has been established, the father may be able to file and obtain a temporary protective order of restraint quickly that orders the return of the child to Oregon. If the father acts quickly, he may be able to get a court order requiring you to move back.

    You should review the facts and your situation with a local attorney to help prevent your move from turning into a legal battle.

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