Olympia Child Custody Lawyers Assisting Washington Parents
Parents are responsible for ensuring that their child has a safe living environment and that their child receives appropriate care and support. Sometime your co-parent’s actions may make your child’s living situation unsafe or may interfere with your child’s ability to receive necessary care and support. If that happens, you may need to involve the legal system to ensure your child’s care or safety. Our Olympia child custody lawyers work to assist Washington parents when such situations arise. We understand that nothing is more important than your children. We will give your case the attention it deserves. Call today to speak with an attorney. We also serve those in Tacoma and other areas. Child custody attorneys handling cases in Olympia, Tacoma, and other Washington areas
Child custody attorneys handling cases in Olympia, Tacoma, and other Washington areas
In Washington State, the document that sets out where the child will live, how they will spend time with each parent, and who can make decisions affecting the child, is called a “parenting plan.” If the parents are able to agree on a plan, the Court will review it and issue an Order approving it. If the parents cannot agree on a parenting plan, the Court will hold a hearing, decide on a residential schedule, and issue an Order setting out a parenting plan. The Court’s concern in this process will be what is in the “best interests of the child” (which is the legal standard that the Court applies.) Hiring an experienced attorney is the first step in engaging the legal process.
With regards to legal decisions, parents will generally have equal authority over issues such as the ability to consent to medical care, although each parent can make emergency medical decisions for the child and make decisions about the day-to-day care of the child during their residential time. Under RCW 26.09.225, each parent has the right to obtain the child’s school and medical records, so access to such records is not typically included in the parenting plan.
The parenting plan will set out who the children will live with and when the child will spend time with each parent. The parenting plan will designate as “custodian” the parent with whom the child is scheduled to reside a majority of the time. Based on the specific facts in your case, the Court will order the residential schedule that the Judge believes to be in your child’s best interests. If the Court orders a residential schedule of every other weekend and one night per week, that is referred to as a “primary residential” schedule. If the Court orders a residential schedule where the children spend substantially equal intervals of time at both households, that is called a “shared residential schedule”.
The Court will consider many factors when deciding which type of residential schedule is in a child’s best interests, but it must give greatest weight to the strength and nature of the child’s relationship with both parents. If a parent has a history of domestic violence, a history of abuse (physical, emotional or sexual) of a child, or has willfully abandoned or substantially refused to parent the child, the court is supposed to limit that parent’s residential time with the child.
When considering such issues, the Court concerns itself with objective and/or verifiable evidence. The Judge will likely disregard generalized claims that one parent is “bad.” Examples of verifiable evidence can include school records, phone records, medical bills, police reports, etc. The process of obtaining and presenting such information to the Court can be complicated. It is important that you retain a lawyer experienced in handling such matters.
Our Olympia child custody attorneys work to provide their clients with the highest levels of representation. We will use your initial consultation to gain an understanding of our situation and to provide an honest assessment of your situation. If possible, we will help to negotiate an agreement with your co-parent, and if you are unable to reach an agreement, we will quickly file the necessary paperwork to have the Court hold a hearing and enter a temporary Parenting Plan. If you still cannot reach an agreement, the court will hold a trial and enter a final plan. Our firm will make sure that your rights are protected throughout this process and that you receive the representation you deserve. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation.
Our firm also serves the Thurston County cities of Lacey, Tumwater, and Yelm, the Pierce County cities of Tacoma, Puyallup, and Lakewood, the Lewis County cities of Centralia, Chehalis, the King County cities of Seattle, Auburn, Bellevue, Burien, and Federal Way, as well as other areas in Washington, including Grays Harbor, Mason, Cowlitz, and Pacific Counties.
Olympia lawyers staying in communication with Washington residents involved in a child custody dispute
If you are involved in child custody litigation with your son or daughter’s other parent, then you are already frustrated. You do not need the added aggravation of an attorney who does not return phone calls. Our lawyers make client communication a priority. This includes promptly responding to messages, being available to answer your questions, and ensuring that you receive copies of all court documents. Our firm is honored to serve those in Olympia and other Washington areas. We promise this level of communication in each and every case we handle.