When contested, child custody is perhaps the most important issue for parties in a Washington State divorce, relocation, modification, or non-parental child custody case.
Washington Child Custody Laws
In Washington, a child’s residential schedule and other parental rights and responsibilities are addressed in a court order called a “Parenting Plan,” which is determined by agreement or by the court, and usually with the guidance of a Attorney or a Guardian Ad Litem. The court’s responsibility under the law is to ensure that the Parenting Plan provisions serve the best interests of the child.
For further reading, see RCW 26.09.187 here.
“Grandparent Custody” or Non-Parental Custody
In non-parental custody cases it is fairly typical to have increased restrictions on parental rights, as the court must find the parents unfit or unwilling to meet parental responsibilities in order to award temporary custody of the child to the petitioner, is typically a family member, such as a grandparent.
We have successfully represented clients in divorces and other family law actions involving both contested and agreed child custody and parenting plan matters.
We understand that cases are often highly emotional and can be profoundly consequential to our clients and their children. We strive to ensure that each client understands the strengths and weaknesses of their particular case so they are enabled to make the best child custody and parenting plan decisions for themselves and their families.