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Registering Foreign Judgments

A foreign judgment is a legal order that was established in another state in the U.S. or in a foreign country. “Foreign” simply means outside the state of Oregon.

In the case of a judgment that contains a child custody determination, the party seeking to enforce or modify a foreign judgment must comply with registering the judgment pursuant to the Uniform Child Custody Juridiction Enforcement Act (UCCJEA). The UCCJEA requires that a party wishing to register a foreign judgment file with the court a letter requesting registration along with two copies of the foreign judgment (one must be certified) and a sworn statement that the judgment has not been modified. The other party is allowed 21 days to file an objection to registration. If no objection is filed, the court will recognize the Judgment for purposes of enforcement.

The process by which you modify a foreign judgment is also important to understand. If another court has made determinations as to custody of a child, that court continues to have continuing jurisdiction until such time as another court assumes jurisdiction. In order for that to happen, our office typically files to modify the judgment and request the two courts confer with one another to determine whether the prior court will continue to exercise jurisdiction or Oregon will take over. There are many reasons why a court will retain or assume jurisidiction over a case. Reasons include which court is most convenient for the parties and witnesses, which court will have the best information regarding the well-being of the child, which court has already heard testimony and made factual determinations about the parties and the child and, most importantly, where the child and parents have lived since teh last judgment. In circumstances where neither parent or the child lives in the foreign jurisdiction, Oregon is likely to assume jurisdiction after the judgments confer with one another.

This is a confusing and oftentimes complicated process to see through on your own. We have extensive experience registering foreign judgments in Oregon courts, and can provide you with the skilled advocacy you need.

Please don’t wait until an emergency is looming to register the judgment. Even if you are not looking to modify the judgment in the near future, having it registered now will save you time later. Give us a call if you’d like some help.

Contact An Experienced Beaverton Attorney

If you have questions about registering foreign judgments in Oregon, contact my Oregon family law firm today or call my office at 503-626-1808 to schedule a consultation with an experienced Beaverton family law lawyer.

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