In the state of Washington when a couple with children divorces, a custody plan has to be created. Shared custody is the arrangement of choice, though, there are cases where sole custody with or without noncustodial parent visitation rights is appropriate. When shared custody or visitation is on the table, it is necessary to come up with a parenting plan for how the family schedule will work. In doing so, remember that the specifics matter.
If shared custody or visitation is in your future, you may feel satisfied with a parenting plan that just states who gets the kids which days of the week or for how long on visitation days. You may think you can work the rest out later. There may be a select few former couples who can make this type of arrangement work. Most, though, will run into problems if they fail to be very specific in how certain issues will be handled.
Let's say you agree to a 50/50 split. There are a number of ways you can make that work. The goal is just to give each parent equal time with the kids. A few things you might want to consider and include in your parenting plan are:
- Living arrangement details
- Transportation details
- Holiday and weekend schedules
- Child care options
- Extended family contact rules
- Acceptable conflict resolution methods
Child custody can be a bear to figure out. The details are not something that you will want to skip over and try to work out later. A Washington-based family law attorney can help you create a parenting plan that is very specific and addresses your family's unique needs.