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Everett Child Custody Lawyer Prioritizes the Well-Being of Young People

Snohomish County attorney encourages a collaborative approach

Establishing an appropriate parenting plan should be the top priority for parents who are divorcing or ending a non-marital relationship. At the Law Office of Robert N. Getz, P.S. in Everett, I deliver thorough advice and advocacy on a wide array of issues relating to the rights of mothers and fathers. Washington law does not use the term “custody,” but the courts recognize that both parents have a role in child rearing and expect both to participate actively. If your pending divorce will include issues related to your child’s welfare, parenting plans and child support, I will work thoughtfully to assert your rights and create a supportive environment for your child.

Established Washington firm develops detailed parenting plans

Though I am an accomplished trial lawyer, my firm focuses on developing workable parenting plans through collaborative approach. To help you get started, I can answer questions on potentially complex issues such as:

  • Residence and decision-making authority — There are two main components of a parenting plan. One relates to where the child will live and the other concerns how important decisions regarding the child will be made. Whether you’re looking to become the primary residential parent or are simply looking for an appropriate visitation schedule, I will gather the information needed to support your case. Often decision-making authority is granted on a joint basis.
  • Unmarried parents — When an infant is born to a married mother, her husband is the presumptive legal father. This is not the case when a child’s parents are unwed. If no disagreement exists over paternity, the parents can execute Voluntary Acknowledgement of Parentage. This gives the father custody rights and requires him to provide financial support for the child. My firm handles these matters as well as proceedings where paternity is in dispute. 
  • Writ of habeas corpus — If someone has taken your child despite the fact that you have custody over them, you have the right to file a writ of habeas corpus in order to have your child returned to you. These situations can be highly volatile, especially in situations that involve relationships with former partners and allegations of unfit parenting.
  • Relocation — Should a primary residential parent wish to move out of state due to a job change, new relationship or family concern, they must notify their co-parent at least 60 days in advance. From there, the other parent has 30 days to file an objection in court. Whatever the reason for the relocation, it should not affect the other parent’s ability to maintain the same visitation schedule. This could require significant changes to the parenting plan or even a court hearing, so it’s wise to consult with a qualified family lawyer as soon as a potential disagreement arises.

Washington courts want and expect both parents to remain active and involved in their children’s lives. My professional staff and I are proud of our record of helping parents find solutions that work for the entire family. Through skillful negotiations, mediation or other methods of alternative dispute resolution, there usually is a solution available.

Family lawyer handles matters relating to parents’ residential time

A parent who is not named as the primary residential parent is entitled to reasonable visitation rights. However, some circumstances can cause a parenting plan to place restrictions on a father or mother’s ability to spend residential time with their child. Potential justifications can include a parent’s:

  • History of domestic violence, including physical, sexual and emotional abuse
  • Abandonment of parental responsibilities for an extended period of time
  • Substance addiction

If you believe that unrestricted visitation with your co-parent might present a problem or that you’re being unfairly accused of posing a danger to your child, I can help.

Do grandparents have visitation rights in Washington?

Washington law states that grandparents can obtain visitation rights in situations where a child no longer lives with both parents due to divorce, separation or death. As in other child custody matters, judges make decisions on grandparent visitation based on what they believe to be in the child’s best interests. Factors that might compel a court to grant access over a parent’s objection include the nature of the grandparent-grandchild relationship and the reason why the parent is looking to prevent the visits. My firm advises clients about the likelihood of a favorable result and also assists grandparents who seek to gain custody due to concerns about the child’s welfare.

Contact a dedicated Washington child custody attorney for a free consultation 

The Law Office of Robert N. Getz, P.S. in Everett represents Snohomish and Skagit County parents in child custody proceedings. You can set up a free 10-minute phone consultation case by calling 866-360-8050 or contacting me online.  

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