Creating Parenting Plans In Washington

One of the most stressful parts of a divorce for parents is making decisions related to the children. It is likely that both parents want what is best for their children, but the emotions of a divorce may cloud their ability to make wise choices. Ideally, Washington parents can arrive at parenting plans without the interference of the courts, but they must still obtain court approval for their plans to ensure their decisions are in the best interests of the children.

A parenting plan is more than just a schedule of which parent has the children when. It involves dividing parenting functions, or the authority to make decisions about the children, such as those related to education, financial support, building relationships with others and providing for their basic needs. In addition, a parenting plan includes agreements about how the parents will maintain parenting functions as the children grow, with as little reliance on the courts as possible.

Parents who negotiate a parenting plan and schedule can submit it to the court. If the court agrees that the plan works in the children’s best interests, it will likely approve the plan. In Washington, parents who cannot agree on a plan must try mediation. If mediation does not work, the parents will present their separate plans to the court, and a judge will choose one or order a new plan.

It is not easy to create workable parenting plans that can accommodate the growth and change in a family. In addition to seeking the best interests of the children, parents want to be sure their own rights are protected. To help them reach their goals, many Washington parents seek advice from a family law attorney who understands the nuances of parenting functions and can guide them in creating an effective plan.

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The Law Offices of Stacy D. Heard, PLLC

Stacy Heard is an accomplished and well-respected family law attorney in Seattle, Washington who has served clients for over 20 years. Stacy specializes in matrimonial and family law. She handles matters of divorce, high-conflict parenting plan/child custody issues, international custody disputes and Hague Convention cases, complex financial issues, relocation, restraining orders, child support, and modifications of Parenting Plans and Child Support Orders.