Eugene Child Custody Attorneys of Arnold Law Office

Initial Child Custody Determinations and Divorce

Child custody disputes can be the most stressful part of a divorce or break-up. Often they involve two wonderful parents fighting over custody of a child. However, sometimes they involve one parent protecting the child from an abuser. Other times the conduct of the other parent is not causing physical harm but is being done to alienate the child from you. When determining initial custody, Oregon courts apply the best interest test—the child’s best interest, not yours. The factors of the best interest test are set forth in the Oregon Revised Statutes and interpreted by a very active and plentiful case law. Our attorneys understand the nuances of these factors and will help you prepare your case for trial based on what is important for custody.

Child Custody Modifications

In order to modify custody, the moving party must prove that there has been a substantial change in circumstances affecting the parenting by the custodial parent. That burden is met automatically if there is joint custody. After that, the moving party must prove that it is in the best interests of the child to be with them.

A substantial change can be proven through a number of ways. Here are some possible examples:

  • Abuse against the child.
  • A conviction that relates to a parent’s capacity to parent (i.e., sex abuse, domestic violence, assault against a child, some drug crimes, etc.).
  • New job where parent is delegating parenting.
  • Poor school attendance, unexplained absences, lots of tardies, etc.
  • Deterioration of the relationship between custodial parent and the child that produces extreme behavior changes.

This is a very heavy burden for the parent trying to change custody. Our attorneys are experienced in defending and proving child custody modification cases.

Read about the Arnold Law Office practice philosophy here or call us at 541-201-2236.

Why Choose Our Trial Lawyers?

  • Our lawyers actually try cases
  • A lawyer ranked one of the best in Oregon
  • A retired circuit court judge and former judicial clerks.
  • Trial experience in multiple Oregon counties
  • A former Eugene city prosecutor and former deputy district attorney
  • jury trial experince in fedreal, state, & municipal courts
  • Cutting edge use of the Northwest's best expert witnesses in criminal, family law, & civil litigation

Managing partner Mike Arnold on what sets Arnold Law Office apart:

Call (541) 952-2090 for an appointment. The office is located on 401 East Tenth Avenue, Suite 400, in downtown Eugene; appointments are also available in downtown Portland and throughout Oregon.


401 East Tenth Avenue, Suite 400 Eugene, Oregon 97401

(541) 952-2090
Fax: (541) 338-9101

Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express are accepted.