When an Oregon couple decides to dissolve their union, a parenting plan must accompany the request for divorce if they have minor children. The amount of time the children spend with each parent is a required part of the document.
According to the Oregon Bar Association, there is a difference between the custody agreement and parenting time. Both parties must agree to joint custody. Otherwise, one parent will have sole custody. The court considers several factors when determining who gets custody, such as the following:
- The bond between the children and other family members
- The interest and attitude of each parent about the custody
- The desire by each parent to continue a close relationship
After establishing custody, the parenting plan can begin. The needs of the children make each case unique. Though the court prefers the parties involved collaborate on the visitation times, it may mandate a schedule if necessary.
The Oregon Judicial Department states that violation of the court mandated plan may result in expedited parenting time enforcement procedures, which may include the following:
- Adding terms and conditions to the existing plan
- Changing the current schedule by adding details, such as days and times for visitation
- Suspending, adding or ending spousal/child support
- Ordering counseling sessions for one or both parties
- Awarding attorney fees and court costs to the successful party
Depending on the situation, the judge may find that there was no violation of the parenting plan, or that it was done so with cause. Since each case has its own extenuating circumstances and issues, presentation of the facts in a case can be critical to determining the next steps.