Selecting a Washington Child Custody Lawyer
Family Law Advocacy in Seattle, Bellevue, Everett, Tacoma & Surrounding Areas
When contested, child custody is perhaps the most important issue for parties
in a Washington State
relocation, modification, or non-parental child custody case.
The information below will provide answers to many questions concerning
child custody in family law cases. If you need a child custody lawyer
to advise or represent you regarding your rights and responsibilities
of parenthood, please
contact McKinley Irvin's Client Services Department for assistance in selecting an experienced child custody lawyer to assist
you. We also invite you to visit our attorney profiles page for detailed
information about all of our exceptional divorce and child custody lawyers.
Washington 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," which is determined by agreement
or by the court, and usually with the guidance of a Washington State licensed
divorce attorney or child custody lawyer. The court's responsibility
under the law is to ensure that the Parenting Plan arrangements serve
the best interests of the child
The phrase "child custody" is sometimes mistaken to mean that
the parent designated as the "custodial parent" enjoys greater
rights than the "non-custodial parent." In fact, a parent who
is named the custodial parent in a parenting plan is designated as such
for purposes of state laws other than the laws related to divorce or parenting plans.
The non-custodial parent normally retains his or her parental rights under
the parenting plan, including residential time and decision making, regardless
of custodial designations. Parental rights such as residential time with
the child, participating in decision making, and other aspects of the
parent/child relationship are only limited upon legal findings of abuse,
neglect, or other factors which the court concludes has or will negatively
impact the best interests of the child, such as
domestic violence, and alcohol or drug abuse.
"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 custody of the child
to the petitioner, who is typically a family member, such as a grandparent.
High-Conflict Child Custody and Parenting Plan Cases
Some of our attorneys focus their practice on high-conflict child custody
cases, such as cases involving sexual abuse allegations, domestic violence,
or drug or alcohol abuse where limitations on the parent/child relationship
are being sought. These limitations can include no contact, limited contact,
or supervised contact between parent and child. High-conflict child custody
law is often highly complex, and it is critical that these cases be managed
strategically from the very beginning.
McKinley Irvin Child Custody Lawyers
Each McKinley Irvin child custody lawyer is experienced in Washington and
Oregon law regarding parenting plans, residential schedules, and child
custody. 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.
Our child custody attorneys understand these cases are often highly emotional
and can be profoundly consequential to our clients and their children.
Our lawyers 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.
McKinley Irvin is the premier divorce and family law firm in the Pacific
Northwest. 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, including all cases involving child custody.
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
visit our lawyer profile page and contact our firm to schedule a consultation appointment.