The prospect of divorce can seem daunting and intimidating, especially when you are already struggling with the emotional aspects of dissolving your marriage. There are so many decisions to make, the consequences of which will shape the course of your life’s next chapter. In addition to negotiating the division of your property and debts, divorcing parents must make decisions about child custody and child support matters. One aspect of your Washington divorce will be establishing and filing a parenting plan. It helps to understand what a parenting plan is and what to expect from the negotiation and filing process so you can proceed with greater clarity and confidence. Working with an experienced and caring Vancouver attorney will also provide you with the support and guidance you need to move forward into a brighter future.

What is a Parenting Plan?

A parenting plan is a legal document that establishes the roles of each parent. It identifies the child’s primary residence, determines each parent’s physical custody of the child, and sets forth a visitation schedule. All of these elements impact your child’s daily life and support their security and development. When you create a parenting plan, you will also need to address how you will handle future disagreements with the other parent. Essentially, you are clarifying your roles and responsibilities as parents and implementing strategies for managing and resolving future disputes.

What to Expect From the Process

Washington courts believe that when divorcing parents can collaborate on the parenting plan, they are more likely to accept the terms and avoid further disputes. Mediation is a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) that encourages parents to work together to negotiate the parenting plan. Unlike a judge, the mediator serves as a neutral third party who facilitates open, honest, and productive communication between the parties and guides the parents toward a shared goal. Although mediation works well for many divorcing couples, there are cases in which the matter may need to be decided by a judge. Working with a knowledgeable child custody attorney is the best way to assess your unique situation and pursue the most appropriate and successful path forward.

Trusted and Caring Legal Guidance When You Most Need It

Even parents who are separating on amicable terms can find the divorce process stressful and intimidating. However, it’s essential to recognize that you are never alone during this challenging time. Enlisting the support of a caring family law attorney will provide you with the information, tools, and guidance you need to make decisions with confidence. Your attorney will help you navigate the parenting plan process to ensure you and your child enjoy a bright and stable future.


If you need help establishing a parenting plan or negotiating child custody in the Vancouver area, call John L. Davis, PLLC, today at (360) 597-4740 to speak with an experienced and trusted family law attorney.

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