In a Child's Best Interests: Foster and Encourage a Close and Continuing Relationship

In part 7 of this 7 part series, we discuss the Primary Caregiver factor. 

Another highly important factor is a parent’s willingness to foster and encourage a close and continuing relationship between the children and the other parent. This means that the parent encourages the children to like, love, respect, communicate with, and see the other parent.

Examples of not doing this:

  1. Allowing the children to decide if they talk to or see the other parent;
  2. Speaking poorly about the other parent in front of or to the children so that the children think poorly of the other parent;
  3. Failing to make the children available when the other parent calls;
  4. Failing to take the children to an exchange when scheduled;
  5. Moving the children far away from the other parent without good cause; or
  6. Rewarding the children for saying one parent is the favorite.

Whether parents like each other or not, their children are entitled to love and bond with each parent. Only in the limited situations described above should a parent interrupt a child’s relationship with their other parent. Courts have changed custody in extreme cases of parental alienation.

However, there are limited situations when one parent encourages the relationship and the child simply refuses. This situation can complicate a case.

If you have questions about any of these 6 Child's Best Interests factors, give us a call or email

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Attorney Sarah M. Litowich is an Oregonian through and through, with roots in rural eastern Oregon and the Willamette Valley. She is grateful for these deep Oregon roots because she learned the value of hard work and building and maintaining strong r… Read More

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