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Maurer v. Maurer

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 09-21-2011
Case #: A142251
Duncan, J. for the court; Haselton, P.J.; Armstrong, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/A142251.htm

Family Law: “Best interest” child custody cases will be analyzed using the factors in ORS 107.137 and the applicable public policy preferences.

Father appeals the trial court’s decision to allow Mother’s relocation to California because it was not in the children‘s best interest. Father and Mother divorced in 2008 and executed a marital settlement agreement (MSA). The MSA allowed Mother to relocate out of state. Father filed for a temporary restraining order after Mother began moving. The trial court ruled that it could not interfere with the MSA and allowed Mother to move out of Oregon. The Court of Appeals held that best interest child custody cases should be analyzed using the factors in ORS 107.137 and the applicable public policy preferences. Under ORS 107.137(1) (a-f) the factors are: (a): emotional family ties; (b): party interests; (c): desire to continue a relationship; (d): presence of abuse; (e): primary caregiver preference; (f): willingness to continue the relationship. Accordingly, the children’s best interests are served by relocating because both parents’ families are conveniently located, the mother was the dominant presence, the children may continue their cultural relationships, mother is the preferred caregiver, and the distance provided by a move to California is not detrimental to the relationship. Affirmed.