Crescent City, CA asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Oregon

Q: How to do i get my chdren out of an abusive home?

I am in need of legal assistance with my post judgement child custody case. I am in fear for my childrens safety and well being. They currentlyreside with my ex wife and her abusive husband. I have made several attempts to file paperwork myself. I have multiple court documents and supporting evidence. He recently walked on 4 counts of assault on my ex wife including strangulation. I need help.

Related Topics:
1 Lawyer Answer
Vincent J. Bernabei
Vincent J. Bernabei
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Beaverton, OR
  • Licensed in Oregon

A: I am so sorry to hear of your dilemma. You will need to consult with an attorney in your area to determine whether you have unwittingly undermined your claim by trying to present your claim without legal representation. Generally, whenever there is a motion to modify custody, you as the moving party have the burden to show that there has been a substantial change of circumstance since the time of the original award of custody. You must prove that the changed condition relates to your or Mother’s capacity to properly care for the child.

To qualify as a change of circumstances for custody modification purposes, events must be unanticipated and must have arisen since the last order. Once the moving party demonstrates a substantial change of circumstances, then court engages in the second step of the analysis--whether the modification is in the child's best interests.

ORS 107.137 governs child custody determinations, and provides, in part:

(1) In determining custody of a minor child, the court shall give primary consideration to the best interests and welfare of the child. In determining the best interests and welfare of the child, the court shall consider the following relevant factors:

(a) The emotional ties between the child and other family members;

(b) The interest of the parties in and attitude toward the child;

( c) The desirability of continuing an existing relationship;

(d) The abuse of one parent by the other;

(e) The preference for the primary caregiver of the child, if the caregiver is deemed fit by the court; and

(f) The willingness and ability of each parent to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing relationship between the other parent and the child.

ORS 107.137(2) provides, in part: “The best interests and welfare of the child in a custody matter shall not be determined by isolating any one of the relevant factors referred to in subsection (1) of this section, or any other relevant factor, and relying on it to the exclusion of other factors. However if a parent has committed abuse, as defined in ORS 107.705, there is a rebuttable presumption that it is not in the best interests and welfare of the child to award sole or joint custody of the child to the parent who committed the abuse.

Your claims involve abuse and neglect. It is urgent that you speak with an attorney to determine your best course of action.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.