Filing for Custody of a Child

The act of “filing” for custody merely refers to the initiating documents which are physically filed with the circuit court in the county where either of the parents or the child resides. This filing document is known as a Petition for Custody. Commonly, the Petition for Custody also requests that a parenting plan be established and that child support be determined.

Paternity must be established before the court can make a child custody determination. Custody will dictate which parent is responsible to care for the child. This could be joint or sole custody depending on the circumstances. It is also common for a court to establish a parenting plan for the child and establish child support at the same time. If the parties cannot come to an agreement on custody, parenting time, and child support, then a judge will make a determination. Hiring an attorney to file for custody should be considered given the importance and lasting consequences of these decisions.

Determining Child Support in a Custody Hearing

Along with parenting plans, child support is generally addressed during a custody hearing as well. In a divorce, the parent who does not have custody may be required to pay support. The court may order child support to be paid until a certain age according to state guidelines. A child custody lawyer can help you obtain the best possible outcome in the case of custody hearings.

Can I Also Get Alimony with Child Support?

Yes, in Oregon, both child support and alimony can be ordered by the court. However, unlike child support, alimony can only be requested if you were married. Alimony or spousal support must be requested during the divorce process in your Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. A judge will make separate rulings for alimony and child support. Also in most circumstances the amount of one will affect the amount of the other. Because these support payments can add up to a significant sum of money, it would be wise to seek a child custody attorney to help with the process.

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