Seattle Parenting Plan Attorney
A Parenting Plan is a legally-binding document created and agreed to by the parents of a minor child. It outlines parenting responsibilities between parents regarding a minor child. This plan is created before the finalization of a divorce or legal separation. So if you and your spouse are considering ending your marriage, a Seattle parenting plan attorney from Zafiro Law can help you create this document.
If both parties can’t agree to a Parenting Plan, the court establishes a plan they must follow to preserve the child’s best interests. A typical Parenting Plan will cover the visitation and residential schedule, parental responsibilities, and any parental restrictions.
Why Zafiro Law?
Zafiro Law is the family law firm to contact if you’re looking for an experienced Seattle parenting plan attorney in Seattle. Creating a Parenting Plan that works for both parties and serves the children’s best interests is usually one of the most complex parts of a divorce or legal separation. But with the help of an experienced family law attorney like Katrina Zafiro and her team, you can rest easy knowing that we have your best interests at heart.
Overview of the Parenting Plan Laws in Washington State
Parenting Plan laws in Washington state are complex and vary from case to case. For this reason, it’s best to work with an attorney who understands the laws and is willing to do whatever it takes to protect your interests while safeguarding the best interests of your children even after a legal separation or divorce. Here’s an overview of everything you need to know about parenting laws in Washington.
The court will most likely approve your Parenting Plan if you and the other parent agree on the plan’s contents. However, if you disagree, the judge will decide the matter during a hearing or trial. The judge usually considers several factors before making a final ruling, but the child’s best interest is the most important.
A Parenting Plan is a legally binding court order, meaning both parents must follow it. If one parent breaches the terms of the Parenting Plan, the court might find them in “contempt”.As a result, the court might order the in-contempt parent to pay fines, attorney fees, or make-up visitation time.
In Washington, if the court finds you in contempt more than once in three years, the court might award the other parent custody of the child.
Washington laws don’t usually allow you to change the contents of a Parenting Plan. However, the court might permit such changes if both parents agree to them. If they don’t, the judge may make significant changes to the Parenting Plan only if there has been a substantial change of circumstances in the child’s or parent’s life since the judge approved the original plan.
If you decide to move with the child, you must refer to the Parenting Plan for guidance. In most cases, the parent who plans to move with the child informs the other parent to notify them about the move. After receiving the notice of relocation, the other parent can either object to the move or ask the court to modify the existing Parenting Plan.
Lastly, Washington state can only handle your Parenting Plan under specific circumstances. For example, the state may not have jurisdiction to handle such a case if the child:
- lives in a different state;
- hasn’t been living in Washington for the past six months; or
- another state has already filed an order regarding the child.
This further explains why it’s always important to contact a Seattle parenting plan attorney in Seattle, WA, to find out your options. If you’re looking for such an attorney, talk to Zafiro Law – we might be able to help.
What Should Be Included in a Parenting Plan?
The contents of a Parenting Plan usually vary depending on the details of the case. That said, a typical Parenting Plan includes the following:
Child Custody Schedule
The residential schedule depends on the child’s best interests and parents’ preferences. For example, the child can live with one parent for a week and then return to the other parent for another week, usually over the weekend.
This section explains which parent will make major decisions regarding the child. Such decisions include healthcare, education, extracurricular activities, emergency care, religious practices, etc.
Dispute Resolution Processes
There’s always the possibility that both parents may disagree on certain issues regarding their child. This section of the Parenting Plan explains the procedures both parties must follow to solve any conflicts that might arise when implementing the Parenting Plan.
Access to Important Information
This section identifies the parent who will receive important information about the child. Examples of such communication include school-related information, healthcare, medical records, daycare, after-school care, important events, etc.
What Happens if a Parent Violates a Parenting Plan?
If a parent violates a Parenting Plan in Washington state, the court may find them in contempt. As a result, they may need to pay fines, attorney fees, or even lose future parenting time.
How Zafiro Law Can Help
It’s not always easy to create the perfect Parenting Plan, especially when you are in the middle of finalizing a legal separation or divorce. In fact, in most cases, parents usually have a rough time creating a Parenting Plan because their emotions may be high during such a time. For this reason, it becomes increasingly necessary to work with an attorney who can de-escalate a highly emotional situation and help both parties come up with a Parenting Plan they can agree with. Remember, in Washington state and many other states across the country, the court steps in if both parties can’t agree on a Parenting Plan.
Since 2006, Zafiro Law has been the go-to family law firm in King and Snohomish counties, serving the cities of Seattle, Kirkland, Bellevue, Shoreline, Renton, Kent, Mercer Island, Redmond, Sammamish, Lynnwood, Edmonds, Everett and the surrounding areas. If you need help creating a Parenting Plan that works for you, your ex-spouse, and your child, call 206-309-9645 to schedule a consultation with a seasoned Seattle Parenting Plan attorney. Similarly, if your ex-spouse has violated the Parenting Plan and you feel helpless, contact us today! We might be able to help.