Is It Necessary to File for Custody of My Kids?

If you are seeking a divorce, but have children, you may wonder how a custody agreement is decided. Custody, parenting time and child support will be decided as part of a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. If you are the person to initiate the divorce proceeding, the Petition will address these issues. If you are not seeking custody of the children, then the Petition will say that custody of the children should be awarded to the other spouse. Parenting time and child support are similarly addressed in the Petition.

Who Can File a Petition For Custody?

Custody provides an adult with a legal right to care for the minor’s daily needs. In most situations, the biological parents are the ones who can submit a petition for custody. In some situations, other relatives or individuals who have maintained a relationship with the child may submit a petition. Every state has its own policies set forth on who can request custody, and how to do so.

Will I Be Responsible for Child Support if I Don’t Have Custody?

There is a difference between legal custody and what is often referred to as physical custody. The parenting time arrangement, ie the amount of time the children spend with each parent does effect the child support calculation. Child support in Oregon is determine in most instances by a child support calculator which takes a number of factors into account, including the time sharing arrangement, each parties incomes, insurance costs, daycare and other factors. Not being granted legal custody doesn’t mean that you will have to pay child support, but often it does. Both parties are expected to help meet the needs of the children.

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