Everett Lawyer Works to Negotiate Appropriate Parenting Plans
Snohomish County attorney handles child custody and visitation issues
Children of divorce often have a hard time, which is why Washington law requires a detailed parenting plan be created when parents of minors dissolve their marriage. As family members may live under these terms for years, it is prudent to take great care when discussing these arrangements and to retain the assistance of an experienced family law attorney. At the Law Office of Robert N. Getz, P.S. in Everett, I have represented mothers and fathers in divorce and custody proceedings for more than 30 years. Whether you and your spouse are in essential agreement over most matters or you believe you might have to go to court, my firm offers strategic, compassionate counsel with all types of parenting plans.
Washington firm advises on laws addressing residence and decision-making
My family law firm provides knowledgeable guidance on every aspect of parenting plans, including:
- Primary and shared residential parenting arrangements — If the child is going to live in one parent’s home for most of the time, that parent is referred to as the primary residential parent. In some cases, parents who live in close proximity to each other can establish a shared residential schedule, which means that the child spends a substantial amount of time at each parent’s home.
- Visitation — A well-drafted parenting plan includes a clear time-sharing schedule that outlines where a son or daughter will stay on weeknights and on weekends, as well as during special occasions such as school vacations, holidays and family events. When you have a primary residential parent, it is critical that the other parent has ample visitation time to maintain a strong bond with their child.
- Decision-making — Known in some jurisdictions as “legal custody,” authority for decision-making is an essential aspect of any parenting plan. Frequently, this responsibility is held jointly regardless of where a child lives most of the time. You can separate particular types of decision-making authority powers. For example, parents might collaborate on decisions regarding medical treatment while only one is responsible for choices relating to the child’s education.
Whenever possible, I encourage clients to collaborate with their co-parents so that everyone has a stake in the parenting plan that is incorporated into the court order.
Factors considered by courts when reviewing parenting plans
When the parties to a divorce cannot reach an agreement on a parenting plan, the matter goes before a judge who can examine any relevant factor when making a decision. Like each child, each case is unique, but courts often consider the child’s relationship with each parent, how a parent’s daily schedule affects their ability to handle important tasks and anything that reflects on a mother or father’s performance as a caregiver. If the child is sufficiently mature, their preference can be an important factor as well. Courts also weigh each side’s willingness to abide by the terms of the parenting plan.
Experienced advocate takes on matters relating to custody changes and restrictions
Well-drafted parenting plans should provide clear guidance for everyone involved and set forth a mechanism for resolving any disputes that arise. However, situations arise where one party does not let their co-parent exercise their residential time rights or violates the terms of the custody order in some other manner. If changes to the parenting plan are warranted, the petitioning party must succeed in an adequate cause hearing for the court to consider a modification. These proceedings can address proposed scheduling changes, restrictions that might be necessary because of some danger to the child or even a petition for non-parental custody.
Contact a reliable Everett lawyer for a free consultation regarding your parenting plan
The Law Office of Robert N. Getz, P.S. in Everett assists Washington clients with parenting plans. To discuss your situation in a free 10-minute phone consultation, please call 866-360-8050 or contact me online.