Miller v. Miller

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Family Law
  • Date Filed: 03-04-2015
  • Case #: A151244
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Armstrong P.J. for the Court; Nakamoto J.; & Egan J.
  • Full Text Opinion

If all factors are equal and without a factual showing of detriment to the child, preference under ORS 107.137 must be given to the primary caregiver.

Mother and Father had two children together. Despite the father’s routine deployment, the children were considered happy, healthy, well-adjusted, and “wonderful." The couple separated in mid-2011. At trial in 2012, the court granted custody to father after a lengthy oral ruling. The trial court determined that the essential factor in determining custody was “the willingness and ability of each parent to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing relationship between the other parent and the child.” The Court of Appeals determined that the custody determination was based solely on Mother’s decision to move the children to Junction City from their home in Eugene. The Court found that the trial court legally erred in determining that the factors favored Father. With everything being equal, the determination should favor the primary caregiver. Reversed and remanded with instructions to enter an award of custody to Mother; otherwise affirmed.

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