Washington Child Custody Attorney
When a couple decides to end a marriage, and the children are involved, the parents must determine where the children will reside and how much time the children will be allowed to spend with each parent. This is known as child custody and parenting plans.
In some cases, custody issues are simple and handled amicably through mediation. However, in other, more complex cases, child custody issues must be addressed in court so that a judge can determine what is in the child's best interest. Child custody issues can also affect parents dealing with factors such as relocation, divorce agreement modification, non-parental matters, and more.
Our Washington child custody attorneys understand that the health and well-being of your children are of the utmost importance to you. Therefore, please call us if you are contemplating divorce and want legal guidance to protect your child's future.
Understanding Child Custody Laws
In the State of Washington, a child's residential schedule and other parental rights and responsibilities are typically addressed in a court order called a "Parenting Plan." The Parenting Plan is determined by agreement or by the court, typically with the guidance of a Washington State licensed divorce attorney or child custody lawyer. Under the law, it is the court's responsibility to ensure that the Parenting Plan arrangements serve the child's best interests.
The custodial parent is the parent with whom the child resides most of the time. Frequently, the non-custodial parent retains their parental rights under the parenting plan, which often includes residential time and decision-making, regardless of custodial designations.
It is important to remember that parental rights are determined based on parent-child relationships and legal findings such as abuse, neglect, domestic violence, alcohol, drug abuse, or other factors that can negatively impact the child's best interests.
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Understanding Grandparent Custody and Non-Parental Custody
In non-parental custody cases, it is typical to have increased restrictions on parental rights if the court finds the parents unfit or unwilling to meet parental responsibilities. In such cases, courts will often award custody to the petitioner, who is typically a family member, such as a grandparent.
McKinley Irvin Child Custody Lawyers
Each of our attorneys is experienced in handling cases involving parenting plans, residential schedules, and child custody. Over the years, we have successfully represented hundreds of clients in divorces and other family law actions involving both contested and agreed child custody and parenting plan matters. We understand that these cases are often highly emotional and can be profoundly consequential to our clients and their children, so we work diligently to help our clients make informed and safe decisions.
If you are thinking about filing a divorce, parenting plan modification, non-parental custody action, paternity case, or other family law action involving child custody, we invite you to contact our team. For almost three decades, our firm has built a legacy of success in representing clients involved in Washington State divorce and family law matters, particularly in cases involving child custody.