When a couple decides to split up and each party goes their separate ways, there are a lot of things, both big and small, to figure out. If the couple has children, they will need to work out child custody. There are two ways to set up a parenting plan in Washington — through negotiating the matter or by going to court.
Thankfully, parents in Washington have a number of options when it comes to parenting plans. There are sole and joint custody options, as well as visitation options, just like anywhere else. Joint custody and visitation can be a flexible as the family needs it to be.
A parenting plan will spell out exactly who gets the children — when and for how long. It will give details about how children are to be transported between parents, who will get to make important decisions for the children and provide acceptable resolution methods if disagreements over custody or visitation ever arise. If parents are able to agree to terms without going to court, their proposed parenting plan does still need to be submitted to court for approval before it will become officially active. This really is the way to go, as it gives parents greater say in the matter. If parents cannot come to terms, the issue will go to court and a judge will order a parenting plan that he or she deems fit based on the evidence presented.
Creating parenting plans that work and that truly serve the best interests of one’s children can be challenging, but it is not impossible. Sometimes parents need help negotiating terms and that is okay. With the assistance of legal counsel, Washington residents who are going through divorce or separation and who have children involved can create child custody plans that serve their family’s needs