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What legal rights does a single father have in Oregon, if he wants to raise his child.

Portland, OR |

I was living with my girlfriend for the past 5 years in Portland Oregon, we have terminated the relationship. Now she wants to move back to Los Angeles CA wit our daughter who is 5 years old. What legal fights do I have if I want to raise my daughter in Portland OR. I have been sole financial provider for both and she is going back to Los Angeles with no job and staying with friends. While here in Oregon I have a good job and I am living with my parents also I have medical and dental insurance for my daughter. Should I file for joint or full custody? What do I need to file? Thank you for your help
sincerely, Edauardo Avevedo

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Attorney answers 3

Best Answer

Fathers have the same rights and responsibilities to their children that mothers do under Oregon law. By default, in the absence of a court order, both parents have equal and total custody rights to their children. If the parents disagree about what to do with the child, and they can't work it out between them, then one of them must file a petition to establish custody and parenting time rights. The legal standard that a court uses to determine how to allocate custody rights is, what is in the best interests of the child. You can read more about these laws here:

You should consult with an attorney in private to see about filing a custody case.

One more thing: You should never, ever post your name or other personally identifying information on the internet when talking about your legal situation. This is not a secure forum. Anyone can see anything you've written here, and could conceivably find it and use it against you in a legal case. I recommend you write to the site administrator and ask that this post be removed or redacted to remove your name. (Lawyers can't edit or delete our answers here; I don't know if other users' access is similar.)

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:


You should file for custody as soon as you can. For the next 6 months, Oregon has jurisdiction over the child and can have the power to order things to be done. You should see about contacting the Oregon State Bar's Lawyer referral service to see if you can get a referral to an attorney in your area. There are two really good attorneys in the Portland area who post here often so the likelihood that you can see if they are able to take your case is good.

As a rule of thumb, you should file for sole custody just so that you don't have to run things by her every time a decision needs to be made regarding her care. Best of luck to you.

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.

Jay Bodzin

Jay Bodzin


We both forgot to mention: An Oregon court will not order joint custody unless both parents agree to it. So filing to request joint custody is a bit silly. The court won't order it against either parent's protest.


Edauardo: Your best chance of getting custody of your daughter is right NOW. Meet with a custody attorney to have him/her help you prepare the custody petition, tell you what to do and not to do. The longer the child lives with only the mother, and not with you, the less chance you will have to obtain sole custody. Good luck.

Be sure to designate "best answer." If you live in Oregon, you may call me for more detailed advice, 503-650-9662. Please be aware that each answer on this website is based upon the facts, or lack thereof, provided in the question. To be sure you get complete and comprehensive answers, based upon the totality of your situation, contact a local attorney who specializes in the area of law that involves your legal problem. Diane L. Gruber has been practicing law in Oregon for 26 years, specializing in family law, bankruptcy, estate planning and probate. Note: Diane L. Gruber does not represent you until a written fee agreement has been signed by you and Diane L. Gruber, and the fee listed in the agreement has been paid.