Serving the Best Interests of Children with Separated Parents
A child’s best interests are served when both of his or her parents play a role in their life. When a child’s parents are separated – either through divorce or because they never married – Washington law focuses on trying to ensure that the child benefits from the wisdom and input of both parents. This requires careful planning and coordination between the separated parents.
If you have a child and live separately from their other parent, you should seek legal advice and assistance from an experienced Spokane parenting plan attorney. At Twyford Law Office, our legal team has over three decades’ experience successfully representing Spokane residents in family law matters, including child custody and parenting plans. Our knowledgeable and personable attorneys are committed to helping you through the legal process of coordinating parenting responsibilities with your child’s other parent.
Call (509) 327-0777 for more information about the benefits of having a parenting plan lawyer.
What Is a Parenting Plan?
A parenting plan is a detailed road map for separated parents that governs who will be responsible for what when it comes to taking care of their minor child. Under Washington law, a parenting plan addresses specific aspects of the parenting relationship.
The basic requirements of a valid parenting plan in Washington include:
An affirmation by both parents that the plan was developed in good faith
Designation of the child’s custodian
Residential provisions for the child
The allocation of decision-making authority between parents
A process of resolving parental disputes
Establishing Parenting Plans in Washington
A parenting plan must be comprehensive, keeping in mind that such plans are ultimately developed for a child’s benefit. The individual interests and preferences of the child’s parents take a backseat to their child’s interests and well-being. At Twyford Law Office, our Spokane parenting plan attorneys have experience crafting detailed parenting plans that focus on the specific needs of the particular child, while trying to consider and accommodate the interests of the child’s parents.
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.
Our lawyers have experience with the following parenting plan issues:
The allocation of day-to-day decision-making
The allocation of emergency decision-making
Methods of resolving decision-making disputes
Temporary parenting plans
Permanent parenting plans
Modification of parenting plans
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 our family law attorneys, who will take your case to court and expedite a satisfactory resolution to any parental plan violation.
Consult Our Knowledgeable Spokane Parenting Plan Attorneys Today
At the end of the day, parents are responsible for the care and well-being of their children. Parents must find common ground upon which they can work together to promote the welfare and happiness of their child. At Twyford Law Office, you can count on our legal team to work with you to achieve a comprehensive parenting plan that minimizes conflict while providing a net benefit for your family.
To schedule a free consultation with one of our skilled Spokane parenting plan lawyers, call Twyford Law Office at (509) 327-0777 or contact us online today.