Epler v. Epler

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Supreme Court
  • Area(s) of Law: Family Law
  • Date Filed: 12-26-2014
  • Case #: S061818
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Baldwin, J. for the Court; En Banc.
  • Full Text Opinion

When a change in custody would not be in the best interests of the child, there is no harm in holding a parent to the change-in-circumstances rule.

Mother and Father were divorced in 2005 through a stipulated dissolution judgment which granted custody of their daughter to her grandmother. Mother sought to modify that agreement, arguing she was entitled to a legal presumption in her favor that she acted in her child’s best interests. The trial court found modification of the agreement would not be in the child’s best interests, and that there had not been a substantial change in circumstances warranting modification. The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s denial of Mother’s motions. The Court held that Mother was not entitled to a legal presumption because there were not concerns about due process as present in Troxel v. Granville. The Court found the trial court had not abused its discretion in finding a change of custody was not in the best interests of the child; as a result, Mother was not harmed by being held to the standard which requires a change in circumstances to modify a dissolution agreement. Court of Appeals affirmed; trial court affirmed and revered in part. Remanded to the circuit court to rule on mother’s request to modify parenting time and child support.

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