T. S. R. v. J. B. C.
Case #: A152802
Egan, J. for the Court; Armstrong, P.J.; and Nakamoto, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/docs/A152802.pdf
Family Law: Oregon's statutory policies consider a child's best interests with great weight when trying to promote relationships between a child and a noncustodial parent.
In a custody case, a mother and stepfather first appealed a judgment allowing the noncustodial father to modify a prior custody judgment. Second, they appealed the stepfather’s denied petition to adopt the child. The court granted a motion to terminate the father’s parenting time pending completion of a psychological evaluation. The father completed parenting classes and underwent a psychological evaluation. A therapist acknowledged that contact with the father could be positive for the child. ORS 107.135(1)(a) provides that a court may modify a judgment to provide for parenting time. However, the primary focus is on the best interest of the child. Consistent with Oregon’s policy, the Court affirmed the first judgment to promote a relationship between a child and a noncustodial parent who shows an ability to act in the child’s best interests. ORS 109.312 provides that an adoption can only proceed when the noncustodial parent consents. However, ORS 109.324(2) provides that the court can permit an adoption without consent if the noncustodial parent has willfully deserted or neglected the child. The Court affirmed the second judgment finding that because the noncustodial father completed the psychological evaluation to regain parenting time he neither deserted nor neglected the child. Affirmed.