Kirkland Child Custody Attorneys
For most parents facing divorce, establishing child custody is the most important and emotional issue that they are confronted with. We are acutely aware of the delicacy with which these questions must be handled, and have a team of Kirkland child custody attorneys entirely focused on providing strong, sensitive and realistic representation that is tailored to assist our clients in resolving these complex matters.
One of the first steps that separating partners should strongly consider is the negotiation of a Washington State Parenting Plan. Despite the inherent difficulties that could be involved in this type of negotiation, it is truly vital for both parties to convene to develop a temporary or permanent plan that best meets the specific needs of the children involved and also best accommodates their lives.
By working together to elaborate a parenting plan, parents can avoid the application of the court’s “cookie-cutter” implementation plan, which lacks the flexibility and tailored adjustment to the realities of the emotional, psychological and intellectual needs of their children. When a framework is created that is best fitted to the lives and parenting styles of the former couple, recent statistical evidence suggests that they are are 80% more likely to comply with it than if unilaterally established by a judge who will be entirely unfamiliar with the specifics of any particular family environment.
The legal framework that governs child custody arrangements in Kirkland, WA is contained in the Parenting Act of 1987, which applies to married parents, or those going, or having gone through a dissolution or legal separation. Although similar concepts are involved in developing a parenting plan for unmarried parents, the situation remains legally different, so an attorney should always be consulted. The primary objective of the Act is to meet the present and future needs of children involved in a separation while also mitigating any potentially harmful effects thereof upon the children.
Under the Parenting Act, a parenting plan is a court-approved written arrangement that is worked out between parents or decided upon by a judge in the event of a disagreement on its terms. It is a legal document now required in Washington for any annulment, legal separation or marital dissolution proceeding where minor children are involved. It must address several issues, including sections covering residential provisions, decision-making functions, dispute resolution procedures and limitations. Each section outlines the details of each parent’s rights and responsibilities thereunder. It is also possible to outline other provisions or special agreements that the parents may deem appropriate to their situation or to better reach their goals of co-parenting and active participation in the care of their children.
Our firm is highly experienced in Washington State child custody divorce disputes and settlements. Please call us or fill out the form to the right for more information.