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Three Important Facts Parenting Plans and Child Custody in Washington State

By November 20, 2019 April 23rd, 2020 No Comments

Three Important Facts Parenting Plans and Child Custody in Washington State

In any divorce involving children, child custody is often the most complex part of the process. Understandably so—there’s a lot at stake and many factors to consider. The legal arrangements that result from a divorce can have a profound impact on children’s lives for years to come, and the emotional effects of the divorce process can be just as important.

If you’re involved in a divorce, it can feel overwhelming. That’s why we put together three of the most important things to understand about the state of Washington’s child custody laws.

1. All divorces involving children require a parenting plan.

In Washington, every divorce involving a child must include a parenting plan that outlines every aspect of their upbringing. Parenting plans include things like custody schedules, visitation, how major decisions about the child will be made, and how any future disputes will be resolved. The goal of the parenting plan is to ensure that the child’s needs are taken care of and that both parents understand their responsibilities.

2. Courts always prioritize the best interests of the child.

The number one concern and guiding principle of any divorce court when dealing with a child is doing what is in the best interests of the child. When possible, judges generally prefer to award dual custody. However, determinations about what role each parent will play in the parenting plan are based on each parent’s relationship with their child and how each parent fulfilled the child’s needs in the period before the divorce.

3. Even if you and your partner agree on a parenting plan, you still need the court’s approval.

If you and your partner are able to come to agreements about your divorce and parenting plan, congratulations! You’ve made things much easier on yourselves. Still, no matter how much you agree on everything, the parenting plan you develop will still be subject to court approval. Judges tend to approve consensual parenting plans when possible, but they still need to make sure that everything in the parenting plan is in the best interests of the child.

Talk to a Washington divorce attorney about child custody.

If you are going through a divorce, you should always talk to an attorney. Even the most amicable divorces are complicated, and the agreements that come out of them have far-reaching implications. Working with an attorney is the only way to ensure that you fully understand all the options available to you.

John L. Davis, PLLC, represents clients in Vancouver and Southern Washington throughout the divorce process, including child custody and developing parenting plans. Call (360) 597-4740 today to schedule an initial consultation about your divorce.