In order to modify custody in Oregon you need to prove a “substantial change of circumstances” occurred since the previous custody ruling. Courts undergo a two part analysis in custody modification proceedings.
First, it must be shown that the change of circumstances was unanticipated, and the change must relate to a parent’s capacity to care for the children properly. Once those hurldes have been cleared, the Court moves to the second part of its analysis – whether the modification of custody is in the children’s best interests. For a more detailed analysis of factors influencing the children’s best interests, read my earlier blog post on the subject, attached here.
Finally, not all “changes in circumstances” are considered “substantial” enough to trigger a modification analysis. The following is a list of events that may qualify as a significant change in circumstances:
1. Gross moral misconduct of the custodial parent;
2. The custodial parent’s neglect or delegation of parenting;
3. De facto custody by the non-custodial parent;
4. Instability of the custodial parent; and
5. The custodial parent moving more than 60 miles from the non-custodial parent.
The above list is by no means comprehensive.
For more information on modifying custody, and the change of circumstances rule, contact Loren Thompson at (503) 245 0894. More information about my firm is available at Portlandfamilylaw.com.