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Spokane Child Custody Attorneys

Dedicated to Finding Satisfactory Solutions to Parenting Plans

Child custody disputes are common in a divorce, but that does not make them any easier to deal with. You care about your child and you want to be a part of his or her life. At Twyford Law Office, we work on behalf of our clients to help them get the access to their children that they deserve. We understand how difficult it can be to find yourself in this situation, and we want you to know that you have our support. We are your legal team – here to make sure you get the outcome you want and need from your child custody case.

Contact our Spokane divorce attorneys by calling (509) 204-9993 or completing our online form.

The Parenting Plan

In Washington, a parenting plan is the outline that defines who the child lives with, how decisions are made about the child, and how parents can resolve disagreements over the child in the future. Ideally, you and your spouse will come to an agreement about a parenting plan before going before the judge. If you can work with your spouse to create a plan, then the judge will try to use the plan you created to make a decision.

Of course, sometimes, it is difficult to reach an agreement with your spouse. If you and your spouse cannot agree on a plan, the judge will need to make a decision on what is best for the child. Once the judge decides on a parenting plan, you and your spouse must abide by it.

What Happens When One Parent Refuses to Follow a Parenting Plan?

If one parent violates the rules of a parenting plan, the other parent will need to go back to court. If the court determines the other parent violated the parenting plan, they may be held accountable for attorney costs and fines and may even be subject to contempt (jail) depending on the severity of the parental plan violation.

Divorced parents in Washington State should be aware that parenting plans are a separate issue from child support arrangements. If one parent violates a parenting plan, the other parent cannot stop paying child support as a way to force the violating parent to comply. The best way to address parenting plan violations quickly and legally is to contact a Spokane family law attorney who will take your case to court and expedite a satisfactory resolution to any parental plan violation.

Custody Laws in Washington

Under Washington State child custody laws, a judge signing a divorce decree is obligated to put the best interests of the child or children first and foremost above anything else. Even though both parents and their attorneys may agree on a parenting plan, the judge will automatically review the divorce papers and parenting plan to ensure they have considered the child’s best interests.

When determining custody arrangements complicated by a custody dispute, family court judges will closely examine the following:

  • The ability of either parent to maintain a stable, loving relationship with their children
  • The ability of either parent to provide for the child’s needs—shelter, clothing, food, education, etc.
  • The ability of either parent to continuously exercise sensible judgment when making decisions concerning the children
  • The ability of either parent to provide steady financial support for the children

Additionally, a judge may talk to children of divorcing parents about where they wish to live, if they are old enough to relate their wishes logically. Judges may also consider a child’s relationships with siblings and how involved the child is with the community in which they currently live.

Divorced parents will need to create a specific schedule outlining where children will reside during vacations, on weekends, and for holidays. This schedule should include details about the transportation of children to locations described in the parenting plan. Some factors considered by family court judges when making decisions about a parenting plan and child custody arrangements include parenting skills of the parent during the marriage, which parent made the majority of decisions about the children, and past encounters with law enforcement. Parenting plans may also name certain third parties who represent mediators or counselors responsible for helping a divorced couple resolve unexpected disputes involving child custody arrangements.

Doing What Is Best for the Child

The State of Washington’s primary concern is the welfare of the child. Whatever parenting plan the judge decides on will be designed to ensure that the child is cared for. The judge will try to determine the best way for the needs of the child to be met, including emotional needs, financial support, education, and basic concerns like food and health care. The wishes of the child will also be considered by the judge in making a parenting plan.

In most cases, the ideal plan involves both parents sharing responsibility for the child. While the child may live with one parent or the other, decision-making and support are shared by both. But there are sometimes exceptions to this standard. If one parent is found to be unfit by the judge to take part in one or more of these duties, the judge will create a parenting plan that reflects this.

Fighting Hard for Custody of Your Child

When you are involved in a custody dispute, you need an attorney who will fight tenaciously on your behalf. Whether you are attempting to retain a part in your child’s life as a non-custodial parent, or you believe that you should be the one to take responsibility for your child, Twyford Law Office will do all that we can to achieve the outcome you desire.

Contact Twyford Law Office today at (509) 204-9993 to schedule a free initial consultation concerning your child custody dispute. We’re happy to answer your questions and help you understand your options.

Client Testimonials

The Opinions That Matter Most
  • “Julie has the knowledge, experience and expertise to guide any person through this difficult process.”

    Garret
  • “I will never use anyone but Twyford Law and will always refer anyone I come across to them”

    Taylor N.
  • “Julie and her firm are top notch.”

    Dan
  • “If you're looking for a lawyer, you have found the right one.”

    Alexandra H.
  • “Julie's team like her, are professional, empathic, timely and knowledgeable.”

    Susan
  • “We do thank God for Julie Twyford’s help and the judge for his consideration of our daughter’s plight.”

    Suzanne
  • “Twyford Law sets the bar for other Law firms to chase.”

    Dave
  • “I am so proud to call her my Attorney.”

    Jeremy
  • “I strongly believe that due to Mrs. Twyford’s vast experience and knowledge of the law, we were able to win the case and I was able to keep my license, and my life.”

    Jeff
  • “Julia won consistently in court charging my opposing party with all the costs.”

    Linda
  • “Heartfelt thanks to kind and understanding staff.”

    Sharon K.
  • “Julie and her entire office staff are fantastic and we will forever remember their help and kindness at our darkest hour.”

    Kay
  • “If it wasn’t for Julie, I may have lost my business and everything that I have hard for.”

    Greg
  • “Julie focuses on the best outcome for the children, and she will do anything in her power to insure their security.”

    Gary
  • “She has been the most remarkable, selfless and compassionate person you will encounter in the legal profession and in life.”

    Audrey

Why Hire Twyford Law Office?

Your Future Depends On It
  • Skilled, Dedicated, & Aggressive Representation

  • Excellent Communication with All Clients on a Human Level

  • 40+ Years of Experience in Family Law & Criminal Defense

  • Dealt with Thousands of Criminal Cases over the Years

  • Extensive Experience in High-Value Asset Cases

  • 24-Hour Availability in Cases of Legal Emergencies

  • Success in Highly Contested Custody & Divorce Cases

  • Successful Trial Experience in Criminal Defense Cases

Our Legal Team

Learn More About Our Dedicated Personnel

Awards & Associations

  • Avvo Rating 10.0 Superb Top Attorney - Divorce
  • Washington Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys
  • Washington State Bar Association
  • Federal Bar Association
  • Spokane County Bar Association
  • National Association of Distinguished Counsel - Top 1% 2015
  • Spokane Attorneys For Equality