To be considered a psychological parent and receive custody or visitation under Oregon law, the person must have established an ongoing child-parent relationship with the child. This is often the case when a grandparent or stepparent has taken on a primary role in the child’s life.
A child-parent relationship may be established if:
- The relationship exists within the six months preceding the filing of the petition
- The person resided in the same house as the child, supplied the child with food, clothing, basic necessities, or shelter
- The person provided the child with necessary care, education and discipline
- The person’s interaction with the child continued on a day-to-day basis and fulfilled the child’s psychological needs for a parent
- The relationship must have been ongoing with substantial continuity for at least one year through interaction, companionship, interplay and mutuality
Factors the Court May Consider
There are many factors that the court may consider in determining whether to award visitation, custody, or guardianship rights to an individual who has established a child-parent relationship with the child, including:
- The person is or recently has been the child’s primary caretaker
- The legal parent is unwilling or unable to adequately care for the child
- Circumstances exist that are detrimental to the child if the request is denied
- The legal parent has fostered, encouraged, or consented to the relationship between the child and the person
- Granting the request would not substantially interfere with the custodial relationship
- The legal parent has unreasonably denied or limited contact between the child and the person
If a grandparent or third party is awarded custody of the child, that person may be entitled to child support payable by the child’s birth parents.