Parenting / Custody / Residential Care / Visitation
In all Washington State custody actions, the 'best interests of the child' governs all court-ordered decisions regarding the care of children.
The relationship between the child and each parent should be fostered and both parents should generally be involved in parenting decisions and performing parenting functions, unless doing so is inconsistent with the child's best interests. In an effort to minimize disputes by eliminating a "win or lose" approach to custody actions, terms like "custody" and "visitation" have been replaced with "parenting" and "residential care."
In dissolution and legal separation actions involving children and all paternity actions, parents are expected to develop a "parenting plan." An appropriate plan will establish residential provisions for each child, allocate decision-making responsibilities between the parents, and provide for a method of resolving future disputes about each child's care. A good parenting plan contemplates the child's evolving developmental needs and other changes as the child matures, and serves as a flexible framework for parents to work with.
When parties are unable agree with the provisions in their parenting plans, or un-contemplated changes occur rendering the current plan unworkable, a petition to modify that parenting plan may be filed.
My firm competently handles cases involving the drafting of initial parenting plans and residential schedules in divorce, legal separation, paternity, and third party custody actions. Additionally, I have successfully represented numerous clients who have petitioned for modification and those who are opposed to changes in the plan.
If you or someone you know is in need of legal advice call or contact us today for a free consultation.