The Importance of Sharing: How Willingness to Maintain a Relationship Between the Child and the Other Parent Can Affect Custody

A custody decision is not solely about who might be better suited to caring for a child; a court also factors in a parent’s ability to maintain a child’s other relationships, including with his/her other parent. Oregon law encourages parents to continue sharing responsibilities and involvement in their child’s life if it is deemed to be in the child’s best interests.

If one parent refuses to or cannot facilitate the other’s involvement, such resistance could work against them in a custody decision. Sometimes, the current custodial parent will make it difficult to visit, fail to share important decisions or information, like health updates, or not include the other parent in something significant. For example, a parent might sign a child up for a sports team and then fail to share the game schedule. The court may see this sort of action as a sign that the first parent is not going to cooperate with the other, and that could keep this parent from gaining official custody or be grounds for custody to be reconsidered.

The only instance when the court may not legally consider a potential custodial parent’s willingness to facilitate a relationship with the other parent is when a continued relationship would possibly endanger the child or custodial parent, such as in cases of abuse discussed in our post “How Does Abuse Factor Into Custody?

The lawyers at McGuire + Thompson, LLC in Portland can help you navigate custody laws and give you a better chance at custody and time with your child. For more information about how we can help you with your divorce or custody case, visit or give us a call.

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