What Are the Penalties for Violating a Parenting Plan In Washington?

Posted On March 1, 2024 Parenting Plans

A parenting plan is a document that is agreed to by both parties or, if the parties cannot agree, established by the court. This plan governs the relationship between the parties regarding their minor child(ren). A parenting plan sets out the responsibilities of both parties regarding things like custody, visitation, and child support obligations. Whether it was agreed to by the parties or decided by the court because the parties could not agree, a parenting plan has the force of law. There may be penalties for failure to comply with its terms.  It is essential to understand the penalties for violating a parenting plan and what you can do if the other party violates it. If a co-parent violates the plan, it is crucial to speak with a Spokane family law attorney regarding your rights and your child’s best interest. 

What Is a Violation of a Parenting Plan in Washington?

One violates a parenting plan after failing to comply with one or more of the terms in the plan.  A parenting plan may address many different issues concerning the care of a minor child, including:

  • Parental responsibility, such as who will manage daily tasks associated with caring for the child
  • Time-sharing schedule, which states when each parent has the child or when the non-custodial parent has visitations, how they will be dropped off or picked up, and related details
  • How the parents will communicate regarding the child
  • Child support, including the amount, when it is due, and how it shall be paid
  • Responsibility for paying for medical insurance, extracurricular activities, and other additional costs

Common parenting plan violations include interfering with the other parent’s time with the child, failing to return the child on time or at all, or not complying with the required time-sharing. However, failing to comply with any term of the parenting plan may be a violation.

What Happens if the Parenting Plan Is Violated?

Under Washington law, if a parent has violated a parenting plan by interfering with the other parent’s time with the child, the other parent may file a contempt motion. If a party is found in contempt, the court may issue further orders and order the violating party to pay attorney’s fees or a civil penalty. A parent could even face jail time for violating the plan. The offending parent may also be ordered to take a parenting class or attend counseling. Failure to pay child support may also result in being found in contempt. The court may also order fines, jail time, or even suspend their driver’s license.

What Can I Do if the Other Parent Violates The Parenting Plan

Washington law is very clear that, in most cases, you are still obligated to uphold your responsibilities under a parenting plan if the other party is violating the plan. So, if the parent who pays child support stops paying, you are not allowed to withhold the child from them and must still comply with any time-sharing ordered by the plan. Likewise, if you pay child support, you must continue to do so if the other parent refuses to let you see the child.

A Family Law Attorney Can Help if Your Parenting Plan Was Violated

These situations can be very frustrating and emotional for you and your family. If you have concerns that the other parent is violating the parenting plan, you should contact an experienced family law attorney as soon as possible.

Contact the Washington Family & Divorce Lawyers at Twyford Law Office To Get Legal Assistance Today

To learn more and get the help you deserve, call our divorce & family lawyers or reach out to Twyford Law Office online by visiting our contact us page. You can also visit our office at your nearest location.

Twyford Law Office Spokane Office
430 W Indiana Ave, Spokane, WA 99205.
(509) 327 0777 

Twyford Law Office Seattle Office
814 Second Avenue, Suite 515, Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 590-7085 

Twyford Law Office Bellevue Office 
1408 140th Pl NE Suite 400, Bellevue, WA 98007
(425) 517-3350

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