Washington Child Custody Lawyer

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When a couple decides to end a marriage and children are involved, parents must determine where the children will reside and how much time the children will be allowed to spend with each parent. In some cases, child custody issues are simple and handled amicably though mediation. In other, more complex cases, child custody issues must be addressed in court, so that a judge can determine what is in the best interest of the child. Child custody issues can also affect parents dealing with factors such as relocation, modification to divorce agreement, non-parental issues, and more.

At McKinley Irvin, our Washington child custody attorneys understand that the health and wellbeing of your children are of the utmost importance to you. If you are contemplating divorce and would like legal guidance to protect your protect your child’s future, call our legal team today.

Understanding Custodial Parent 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 best interests of the child.

The custodial parent is the individual who shares a living space with the child. In most cases, the custodial parent has physical and primary legal custody of the child. Frequently, the non-custodial parent retains his or her parental rights under the parenting plan, which often includes residential time and decision making, regardless of custodial designations.

It is important to keep in mind that parental rights are determined based on parent-child relationships, as well as legal findings such as abuse, neglect, domestic violence, alcohol and drug abuse, or any other factors which can negatively impact the best interests of the child.

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 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 more than 25 years, 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.

Further Reading:

Video: Setting Expectations for Successful Results
Leaders in Family Law
Setting Expectations for Successful Results
Taking Care of Families
Protecting Children During a Divorce

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