Parenting Plan

Custody and Parenting Plan Lawyers in Tacoma, Washington

Father With Daughter Outside Planning

Conflict between parents can be greatly reduced by establishing a court ordered parenting plan. Our parenting plan attorneys in Tacoma are happy to discuss your situation and your parental rights with you. If you are going through a divorce or legal separation or you were never married, a parenting plan will need to be established through the family court.

What is a Parenting Plan?

A parenting plan in Washington determines which parent the children will reside with every day of the year. This includes a preschool schedule, school schedule, holidays, school breaks, vacations, special occasions, and vacations.

The parenting plan also addresses decision making, parental deficiencies or limitations, dispute resolution, transportation arrangements to exchange the child between parents, notice requirements if a parent relocates, and other provisions as needed.

A parenting plan is important, because it tells you and the other parent who your children are scheduled to live with. If there is a disagreement, you will know which parent the children are supposed to be with. This is also critical for when the other parent threatens to withhold your child from you. If you have a court ordered parenting plan, you can file a contempt  action to enforce your custody/residential rights. If you are caught without out a parenting plan when this happens, you will likely need to establish a parenting plan prior to enforcement. Each situation is different, so it is important to consult with an experienced parenting plan lawyer in Tacoma to review your case.

Do I Need a Parenting Plan?

If you are going through a divorce or legal separation and have children who are under the age of 18 with your spouse, you are required to propose and enter a final parenting plan with your divorce or legal separation paperwork. Even if parents do not have a dispute about parenting, a parenting plan order must be signed by a judge or commissioner and entered with the court. While hiring an attorney is not always necessary, the best course of action prior to proposing and entering a final parenting plan is to consult with an experienced Tacoma Custody and Parenting Plan attorney. Many attorneys will offer a free initial 30-minute consultation. This is important, because we have seen many cases where parents have not sought legal advice thinking they get along with the other parent only to get stuck with an unfavorable parenting plan after final orders are entered. Our parenting plan (custody) lawyers in Tacoma, Washington offer no cost 30-minute consultations. Feel free to reach out to us today to discuss your situation. If you and the other parent of your children are not married, you should still have a parenting plan entered with the court. This is especially beneficial if you feel uncertainty or there is a dispute with the other parent.

Protect Yourself and Your Children with a Parenting Plan

If you are not married to the other parent of your children, you can still seek to establish a parenting plan. This starts with a petition to establish a parenting plan if both parents have signed the affidavit of paternity or a paternity action if both parents have not signed the affidavit of paternity. A parenting plan can give you and your children stability in the case of conflict or disagreement regarding time with the children and decision making. Our Tacoma custody and parenting plan attorneys are here to help you in your parenting plan case.

Which Parent Will get Custody (Primary Care) of the Children?

In Washington state, the superior court does not use the term custody as it relates to both parents. Both parents have custody, the court, or the parties by agreement, determine the parenting time each parent will have with the children. This can range between a 50/50 parenting plan for each parent to one parent receiving most of the parenting time to one parent having their time completely restricted. If you are in a dispute with the other parent, consulting with an experienced Tacoma parenting plan attorney is crucial.

How Does the Court Determine the Residential Provisions of the Parenting Plan (Custody)?

The factors the court considers in establishing a parenting plan are contained in RCW 26.09.187. The court makes residential provisions for each child which encourage each parent to maintain a loving, stable, and nurturing relationship with the child, consistent with the child’s developmental level and the family’s social and economic circumstances. The child’s residential schedule shall be consistent with RCW 26.09.191. The custody and Parenting Plan attorneys at Seacoma Law, PLLC in Tacoma are happy to discuss your situation with you. We are here to help you understand how the law applies to your individual situation.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Parenting Plan Entered with the Court?

This can depend on whether there are agreements by the parents. Trial in a parenting plan case in Tacoma is usually several months out and can extend out to nearly a year or more in some circumstances. This does not mean you have to wait until trial to enter a final parenting plan. If both parents agree on the parenting plan or one of the parties fails to respond to the petition within an established period, final orders may be entered with court, and a trial will not be necessary on that issue. You can also ask the court for a temporary parenting plan to get you through until final order are established through settlement or trial. Feel free to contact the parenting plan lawyers in Tacoma, Washington to discuss your situation. During the initial no cost 30-minute consultation, we can discuss your situation and what to do next.

Client Reviews

"Mr Yetter was hired specifically to represent me in a contentious divorce with parenting plan/support complexities. During our consultation appointment, he listened intently with compassion. Asked thoughtful, pertinent questions and laid out a progression plan. Their were multiple court, mediation...

- Melanie

"I hired Mr. Yetter, in a tough time in my life. He was both understanding and knowledgeable. I would use him again in a heartbeat."

- Donald

"Matt Yetter expertly and with sensitivity helped me prepare for and surmount a challenging divorce, where I initially felt overwhelmed and outgunned. Matt was patient and empathic, assisting me to establish and maintain goals that served my best interests and that were ethical to both parties...

- John R., Auburn

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