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Family Court

Gavel with Family Court binderClatsop County Family Court has served families effectively since July 1, 2000. The court assigns cases on a one judge / one family basis. This allows judges to review family issues in a comprehensive manner, consolidate hearings when appropriate, issue non-conflicting orders, and craft solutions that best fit family needs.

​The purpose of the Family Resource Center (FRC) is to help the increasing number of self-represented litigants with family law cases such as divorce, custody, parenting time, restraining orders, protective orders for the elderly and disabled, civil stalking orders, and sexual abuse protective orders. The program is part of a state-wide effort to improve the accessibility of the court system to the public. A family court specialist can inform self-represented litigants of court procedures and available court forms, review documents, and provide information about legal services and other resources available in the community.

Please be aware that FRC staff may also assist the opposing party. Any meetings or conversations you have with FRC staff are not confidential. A family court specialist is not an attorney and cannot give legal advice or help with legal strategy. You are encouraged to consult with an attorney for legal advice concerning your case.

 
For further information to contact the Family Resource Center.
 
Other Resources: 
 

​Family Law cases include divorce, separation, child custody, and modification cases involving child custody, parenting time, and child support. There is generally a fee for filing these types of cases.​

​Mediation is an opportunity for the parties to settle custody and parenting time issues out of court instead of going to trial and asking a judge to make these decisions. The mediator is a neutral person who helps guide settlement discussions, provides information, and writes down agreements. There is no fee for court-ordered mediation.​

Mediation is mandatory in all contested custody and parenting time cases unless waived by a judge. Family abuse restraining order cases are exempt by law. Parties should notify the mediator if domestic violence is an issue in the case.
 
Before mediation sessions can begin, parties must watch the Mediation Orientation Video.

 

For additional information please see our Mediation Services document.

​Arbitration is mandatory in domestic relations cases in which the only contested issue is the division or other disposition of property. Parties must compensate the arbitrator and pay reasonable expenses of arbitration. Unless otherwise agreed by the parties or extraordinary conditions justify a different fee, the maximum arbitration fee for a two-party case is $400. Parties may agree to use mediation instead of arbitration.​​​

See our Arbitration document for more information

In any domestic relations case, a non-custodial parent shall have the right to parenting time with the minor children of the parties according to the Basic Parenting Plan. If the parties agree, an Expanded Parenting Plan or something similar can be used instead.

​The court requires parties to complete a parent education class in all contested domestic relations cases involving child custody or parenting time. Hope House of Lutheran Community Services NW offers a parent education class that addresses the developmental needs of children and teaches skills to reduce conflict among parents and other child custodians.

​Child support is money regularly paid by a parent to help support a child. The court can order child support to be paid. Oregon has guidelines for calculating support. Your attorney or the Family Resource Center can provide help with child support calculations.

​Clatsop County Circuit Court offers two different kinds of trials in family law cases, an Informal Domestic Relations Trial (IDRT) and a traditional trial. The IDRT is a simpler procedure for people without lawyers, although lawyers also may use it. The Court offers IDRT because traditional trials require parties to follow the rules of evidence and the court rules, which can be more difficult for people without lawyers. In IDRTs, the judge asks the questions and the parties can give the judge written statements from witnesses. The judge will decide how much weight to give to the evidence.

In a traditional trial, the parties call witnesses to the stand and ask them questions. Questions must comply with the rules of evidence. Written statements usually are not allowed.
 
The Court adopted a supplementary local rule (SLR) to allow IDRT. For more information regarding the two types of trials, please read the Domestic Relations Trial Brochure.
An IDRT will be used only if both people involved in the case agree to it and file the election form.

Formal Domestic Relations Trial

Informal Domestic Relations Trial (IDRT)

IDRT Election & Waiver

IDRT Docket Call Sheet

​Family Abuse Prevention Act (FAPA) Restraining Order

Intended to provide for protection from abuse by family, household members, or someone with whom you have had a sexual relationship. The abuse must have been committed within the last 180 days.
Instructions and Forms for:

​Elderly Persons and persons with disabilities abuse prevention act (EPPADDAPA)

​​​If you are 65 years or age or older and not a resident of a long-term care facility or a person with disabilities, you may be eligible for this restraining order. A restraining order is an order of the court that restricts the person named in the order to stop threatening or abusing and to stay away from you.

A Sexual Abuse Protective Order (SAPO)​

Available in certain cases where a person was subjected to unwanted sexual abuse by another person who is not a family member or intimate partner.

Stalking Protective Order

You can get a Stalking Protective Order if you and/or a member of your immediate family or household are being stalked. Stalking is usually characterized by a pattern of intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly alarming or coercing another person, or engaging in unwanted and repeated contact.

If you need assistance obtaining a Protective Order please contact The Harbor at 503.325.3426 (office), 503.325.5735 (hotline) or http://www.harbornw.org/.​


Clatsop Forms Page​

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