In the case of unmarried parents, we can help to establish paternity, custody, parenting time and child support.
Paternity gives a person legal parental rights with a child. Often, paternity is established at birth; but, if not, there are a number of ways to establish it later. The appropriate method depends on the age of the children and whether the other parent agrees.
Custody is a legal term which describes which parent has the authority to make major decisions for the minor children, including health care, education and religious training. Custody is not the same thing as parenting time. Custody can be either sole or joint.
Regardless of the custody determination, a parent (in all but extreme circumstances) has rights to parenting time with their children. Parenting time can range from 50/50, to alternating weekends, to supervised based on the best interests of the child. Deschutes, Crook and Jefferson Counties all have basic parenting plans that can provide a good start for creating a parenting plan. However, every family is unique, so parenting plans can be flexible enough to provide for each family’s relationships, traditions, work schedules, etc.
Child support is generally calculated based on a formula set by the state. Child support depends on several factors, including incomes, parenting time, health care costs and child care costs. A link to the Child Support Calculator can be found at the right of this page.