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Psychological Parents’ Rights - Visitation
A.Authority: ORS 109.119
Any person (not necessarily a blood relative) who has maintained "an ongoing personal relationship with substantial continuity for at least one year, through interaction, companionship, interplay and mutuality." The person must show a substantial degree of contact with the child for a period of at least a year. The person does not have to show that he or she had physical custody, only a relationship and substantial contact with the child. This statute applies to blood relatives and nonblood relatives, including step-grandparents, stepparents and persons whose children have not established paternity. A petition may be filed in a new legal proceeding or through intervention in an ongoing Juvenile Court, guardianship or domestic relations proceeding.
If the court finds "from clear and convincing evidence" that visitation is in the best interests of the child, it may order reasonable visitation. "Clear and convincing evidence" is a higher legal standard than is normally required. It means substantially more than a preponderance of the evidence (more than 51 percent), but not as high a standard as that used in a criminal case--"beyond a reasonable doubt." Attorney fees are now available under this statute.
To file for divorce, either 1) the couple must have married in the state and at least one spouse must be a resident of Oregon or 2)the person filing for divorce has to have been living in Oregon for at least six months before filing the divorce papers in the county where the petitioner lives.
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"A Plain English Guide to Protecting Your Children"
Author: Mary L. Boland, Attorney at Law
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