How Do I Create a Parenting Plan?

Couples seeking a divorce or legal separation in Washington can submit a proposed parenting plan to the court for approval. Creating this plan yourself, with the help of an experienced family law attorney, is the best way to make sure that everyone—you, your spouse, and most importantly your children—remain happy, healthy, and safe, even amid the change and uncertainty of a divorce or separation. A plan created by a judge who doesn’t know you or your children is much less likely to strike the best balance for your family or to account for all the eventualities and complications of life with kids. Further, Washington family law aims to minimize the need for further litigation modifying the Parenting Plan, so it can be very difficult to modify the Plan once it has been finalized.

While you are coming up with a parenting plan, there’s a lot to consider. Before you begin, you’ll want to take inventory of all your children’s physical and emotional needs and all the ways a certain plan might affect them, so that you can be sure you’re providing your children with the most beneficial solution.

For example, how far will you and your spouse live from each other, and how far will each of you be from your children’s school, friends, and close relatives? Is there a particular time of year where the kids are busier with extra-curricular activities before and after school? No one knows your family like you do, so take some time to think of these nuances in advance.

Then, have a family lawyer draft the plan for you. An experienced family law firm like Crouse Erickson has seen the conflicts that can arise out of a poorly-drafted parenting plan and can help make sure you avoid making the same mistakes. The more detailed a plan is in place at the time of divorce or separation, the less likely it is that you and your former spouse will end up in another dispute down the road. For your own peace of mind and for the sake of your children, it’s worth getting your parenting plan right the first time. Contact us today for the assistance you deserve.

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A perfect balance

David Crouse is a very thorough attorney. He is always professional and maintains a perfect balance of patience, courtesy, and persistence – regardless of the situation. He made himself available, understood my issues, and developed a plan right away; ultimately negotiating an agreement that worked for everyone. I just wish I had hired him sooner.

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