How Can I Pursue Joint Custody?
Washington family law encourages parents seeking divorce or separation to come to agreements regarding child custody without a mandate by the court. This is based on the belief that the less contentious or adversarial the divorce process is, the less potentially harmful parental conflict the children will be exposed to. Therefore, couples seeking divorce or separation that wish to pursue joint custody are best served by negotiating a proposed Parenting Plan that is suitable to both of them and then submitting that plan to the court for approval.
The good news is that usually, a judge will approve a plan that both parents have agreed to. This means that you can come up with a plan that meets your family’s unique circumstances, and that plan will have legal force in the event that your former spouse ever violates it.
The bad news is that getting to the best solution takes a lot of back-and-forth. Even when both parents agree that they should share custody of the children, they probably don’t agree on every detail of how time and responsibilities will be shared and haven’t accounted for every possible contingency. Failing to resolve those conflicts ahead of time can lead to more fighting down the road—just what an agreed Parenting Plan was meant to avoid.
This is why even an amicable divorce requires a top family law attorney, to iron out all the details in advance so that everyone involved knows for certain what they can expect in the future. Contact us today.