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.
The Office of the State Court Administrator has prepared family law forms for use by local courts. The local Court also provides assistance to people with general questions about their forms. Prior to seeking assistance please read the instructions and fill out as much of the form as possible. Call the Court at 541.475.3317 and ask to speak with the Family Law Clerk. If the Family Law Clerk is not available, you can leave a voicemail and your call will be returned. Staff will answer as many questions as possible over the phone. If you need additinal assistance the Family Law Clerk may ask you to bring your paperwork to the court so they can assist you with it in person. Court staff cannot tell you what information to put in the form and cannot give you legal advice.
Child Custody and Parenting Time Mediation
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.
Parenting time addresses when the children will be in the care of each parent. A parenting plan, whether agreed to by the parents or ordered by the court, must spell out the minimum amount of time each parent will have with a child. In many counties in Oregon, before a court will make a decision regarding custody or parenting time, the court requires the parents to try to work out a plan in mediation. If the parents cannot agree, the court will make parenting time decisions.
Under Oregon law, no matter who has custody, both parents almost always have the right to access the child’s school, medical, dental, police and counseling records. Both parents usually are able to authorize emergency medical care. In addition, Oregon law requires most parenting plans to restrict a party from moving more than 60 miles from the other parent without telling the other parent and the court before the move.
A parenting plan may be changed if a different parenting plan would be in the best interest of the child.
Standard Parenting Plan
Long Distance Parenting Plan
Parenting Time Calculator
The court requires parties to complete a parent education class in all domestic relations cases involving child custody or parenting time. The class is called “Bridging the Gap.” You can register at Best Care, 541.323.5330 in Crook County or Best Care, 541.475.6575 in Jefferson County. Parent education classes address the developmental needs of children and they teach skills to parents to reduce conflict.
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 can provide help with child support calculations. The Oregon Department of Justice also has information regarding child support and has a child support calculator on their website.
Domestic Relations Trials
Crook & Jefferson County Circuit Courts offer two different kinds of trials in family law cases, an Informal Domestic Relations Trial (IDRT) (UTCR 8.120) 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.
UTCR 8.120 trial selection form.
Court clerks are prohibited from providing legal advice.
Legal Aid: You may be able to obtain legal help from Legal Aid Services of Oregon, 541.385.6944.
Lawyer Referral Service: The Oregon State Bar can refer you to an attorney in your area who handles domestic relations cases. Call 800.452.7635 You may be eligible for the Modest Means Program which offers legal assistance at a reduced rate. Call the same phone number as above.
Other Helpful Resources: Oregon State Bar Family Law, Oregon Law Help
View all protective orders.
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.
Elderly Persons and Persons with Disabilities Abuse Prevention Act (EPPDAPA)
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.
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.
Forms for all of the above can be found here: OJD Domestic Violence Resources
Or if you need assistance obtaining a Protective Order please contact:
Jefferson County Victims Assistance 541.475.4463
Crook County Victims Assistance 541.447.4158