Divorce – Grandparents Visitation – Oregon
Procedure whereby grandparents may establish visitation rights with grandchildren; attorney fees.
A child’s grandparent may, upon petition to the circuit court, be granted an order establishing reasonable rights of visitation between the grandparent and the child if:
(1) The grandparent has established or has attempted to establish ongoing personal contact with the child; and
(2) The custodian of the child has denied the grandparent reasonable opportunity to visit the child.
After the commencement of a domestic relations suit, as defined in ORS 107.510, or a proceeding under ORS 108.110, 109.100, 109.103, 109.125, 419B.400 or 419C.590, and before a decree or final order dissolving the marriage of the parties, any grandparent of the minor children of the parties therein may petition the court for an order providing for reasonable rights of visitation between the grandparent and the child.
After a decree or final order is entered dissolving the marriage of the child’s parents, the grandparent may petition the court only if:
(1) The grandparent did not file a petition during the pendency of the dissolution proceedings; or
(2) There has been a change in circumstances relating to the custodial parent or the minor child such as is required to allow the court to reconsider the provisions of the decree that provide for the future custody, support and welfare of the minor child.
A petition filed with a court under subsection (1) of this section shall state the following:
(1) The names of the petitioners.
(2) The names, addresses and dates of birth of all the minor children to whom the petitioners seek visitation rights.
(3) The names and addresses of the parents or other custodians of the minor children.
(4) When the petition is filed under subsection (1)(b) or (c) of this section, the relationship of the petitioners to the parties in the proceeding.
(5) When the petition is filed under subsection (1)(c) of this section, if the petitioner is asserting a change in circumstances as justification for the petition, the facts constituting the asserted change in circumstances.
When a petition is filed with a court under this section, notice of the filing and a copy of the petition shall be served on the parents or other custodians of the minor children named in the petition in the manner provided by law for service of a summons.
When a petition is filed under this section, if it appears from the petition that the petitioners may seek visitation rights under this section, the court shall conduct a hearing to determine whether an order creating visitation rights will be issued. The court shall cause notice of the time and place of the hearing to be given to the parents or other custodians of the minor children named in the petition. The court may require the attendance of the parents or other custodians and of witnesses as in other civil cases. When the petition has been filed under subsection (1)(b) of this section, the court may conduct the hearing on the petition as part of the proceeding or as a separate proceeding, and the order creating visitation rights, if one is issued, may be incorporated in and made a part of the decree or final order. The court, prior to the entry of a decree or order and upon its own motion or upon the motion of a party, may cause an investigation to be made under ORS 107.425 and may take testimony from or confer with the child or children of the marriage and may exclude from the conference the parents, grandparents and other persons if the court finds that such action would be likely to be in the best interests of the child or children. However, the court shall permit an attorney for each party to attend the conference, and the conference shall be reported.
Any order creating visitation rights under this section shall be according to the court’s best judgment of the facts of the case and shall include such conditions and limitations as it deems reasonable. In making or modifying such an order, the court shall be guided by the best interests and welfare of the child.
Filing fees for proceedings under this section shall be those set forth in ORS 21.110.
As used in this section:
“Grandparent” does not include a stepgrandparent.
“Minor child” means a natural minor child, provided the paternity of such child has been established under ORS 109.070 or acknowledged under ORS 109.092.
The provisions of this section shall not apply if paternity of the minor child is or has been denied throughout a contested proceeding.
In a proceeding under this section, the court may assess against any party reasonable attorney fees and costs for the benefit of any other party.
Chap. 109, §109.121
Power to grant visitation rights discretionary; effect on care and custody orders.
The power of a court under ORS 109.121 and this section to grant visitation rights to grandparents is discretionary and shall be exercised only when the court determines that it would be in the best interests and welfare of the minor children involved.
Nothing in ORS 109.121 and this section shall be construed to affect the power of a court under ORS chapter 107 to provide for the future care and custody of the minor children of a marriage, or to allow grandparents of minor children to contest such custody decisions of the court. [1979 c.776 s.3]
Chap. 109, §109.123