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In the state of Oregon is it legal for a spouse to leave the state with a 5 week old child without telling the other?

Gresham, OR |
Attorney answers 2


It is possible and it is legal, absent a court order to the contrary. There seems to be a concern over the parental abilities of the spouse. Is this something that you should be concerned over...well, that's a personal call that you will have to make on your own that no attorney here can make for you. There seems to be more family dynamics at play than what you are letting on above and maybe you should think about whether you feel that this is something you can work on through counseling or if you want to speak with an attorney to get custody and everything else established for a divorce.

This answer is provided as a general opinion to a question posted on an internet forum. This does not create in either party the expectation that an attorney-client relationship has been entered into between the original poster and the Law Office of Reid Seino, LLC. Any information provided should not be solely taken as legal advice but in the context of general information. Please seek legal representation for any specific legal questions.


Yes, it is legal. In the absence of a court order to the contrary, both of a child's parents (whether married or not) have equal and total custody rights over the child. A parent's history of CPS cases doesn't change that (and while it might not look good for that parent if they end up in court, it won't necessarily be great for the other parent, either. After all - they might say - you chose to have children with this person, right?)

That said, if you act quickly, it is possible to obtain a court order compelling the parent to return the child to Oregon. If you file for divorce, you can ask the Court for a "status quo order" that fixes parenting time at whatever the schedule had been for the previous three months. So if you both got to see the child every day before they left, they'd have to allow that schedule to continue, or be in violation of the order. You should consult with an attorney about this promptly if you mean to try it. You can learn more about these laws here:

Please read the following notice: <br> <br> Jay Bodzin is licensed to practice law in the State of Oregon and the Federal District of Oregon, and cannot give advice about the laws of other jurisdictions. All comments on this site are intended for informational purposes only, and do not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. No posts or comments on this site are in any way confidential. Each case is unique. You are advised to have counsel at all stages of any legal proceeding, and to speak with your own lawyer in private to get advice about your specific situation. <br> <br> Jay Bodzin, Northwest Law Office, 2075 SW First Avenue, Suite 2J, Portland, OR 97201 | Telephone: 503-227-0965 | Facsimile: 503-345-0926 | Email: | Online:



she was already pregnant before we were married and not by me. the only thing chose in the matter was to step in and be her father when bio dad was not.

Jay Bodzin

Jay Bodzin


If you're not actually the biological father of the child in question, then it will be a lot harder to assert any custody rights over the child - still possible, but you'll have to show a serious risk of harm to the child if left in the mother's custody, and that you've attained a parent-like relationship with the child. It's not quite clear to me if this is what you're suggesting. You should consult with an attorney in private if you mean to make such a claim.

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