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Oregon Child Custody Laws

Parents must come to an agreement on child custody when they separate. These arrangements include how they will make major decisions regarding their child moving forward (referred to as "legal custody") and how they will share time with the child (referred to as "parenting time," "timesharing," or "physical custody," depending on the state). If parents are unable to come to an agreement, courts will decide the best course of action based on state child custody laws.

All states, except Massachusetts, adhere to the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA). Oregon law allows for joint custody for separated parents, and grandparents have state-recognized visitation rights. Oregon, however, does not generally consider the wishes of the child in custody matters.

This is a brief overview of child custody laws in Oregon.

Child Custody Statutes in Oregon: At a Glance

The details of Oregon's child custody statutes are listed in the chart below.

Code Section

§ 107.102 et seq. of the Oregon Revised Statutes

Year Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act Adopted


Joint Custody an Option?

Yes, §§ 107.105(a), 169

Grandparent Visitation Rights Recognized?

Yes, § 109.119

Child's Own Wishes Considered?


Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Oregon Custody Hearings

In some cases parents are able to agree on a custody arrangement on their own, and a court will normally accept an agreement if it is in the best interests of the child. If parents cannot agree, they may have to attend a custody hearing in court to determine any contested custody issues. As with pre-negotiated custody agreements, the main concern in creating a custody arrangement will be the child's best interests.

Oregon family courts can consider any factor that might be relevant to a child's best interests, with more influence placed on those factors that can affect the child's safety and well-being. While many of these best-interest factors focus on the child, like their relationship with any siblings and the need for consistency and continuity in their life, other factors may focus on the parents, like which parent is more likely to take care of the daily physical, emotional, developmental, educational, and special needs of the child.

Get Legal Help with Child Custody

Figuring out child custody matters as a relationship is ending can be emotionally difficult and legally complicated. You can find more information and resources in FindLaw's section on Child Custody.

You can also contact an Oregon family law attorney if you would like legal advice regarding a child custody matter.

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