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In June 2014, Addicus Publishing released the book “Divorce in Washington”, which was authored exclusively by David Crouse.view all
When couples with children go through a divorce or legal separation, they must fill out a “Parenting Plan” determining custody and visitation (referred to as a “residential schedule”). The parenting plan dictates the important custody-related matters such as who the children live with, how much time they spend with each parent, who makes the important decisions about the children, and how the parents will handle any disagreements that may arise.
Child custody is one of the most important aspects of a divorce, and it is essential to have a legal professional assist you with the process. For a consultation with a family law attorney in Spokane, call Crouse Erickson today: 509-624-1380.
Parenting plans apportion parental duties, lay out a detailed residential schedule for the children, give the parents a way to work through any disputes that come up in the future, and include any other parenting guidelines that are important to that particular family.
Some of the key provisions in a parenting plan include:
For very young children who have yet to reach school age, you can include separate schedules on the parenting plan so that you will not have to modify it later.
For instance, you might include one residential schedule for the time period until the baby is done nursing, another for toddler through pre-k, and a third for school years. One of our attorneys at Crouse Erickson would be happy to help you create a proposed schedule that would work for you and your family.
Parenting plans explain how the parents will share their responsibilities and continue to care for their children in the wake of a separation or divorce. Once the judge signs the plan, it becomes a legally binding order that both parties must abide by.
Errors and omissions on a parenting plan can result in heated — not to mention costly — disputes down the road. This is why it is so important to have a family law attorney who is knowledgeable with these particular types of orders facilitate your case.
After all, the purpose of a parenting plan is to:
The parenting plan also provides parents with an opportunity to request that the courts minimize the amount of time the children spend with the other parent if there is an issue of serious concern.
For example, if any of the following is a factor, the court may award sole custody to a fit parent, minimize the child’s time with the other parent, and/or mandate supervised visitation:
If the parents are not married or if one party is disputing paternity, establishing or formally challenging a child’s paternity is a necessary step. This is because, unless the couple has formally established paternity, the father has no legal right to his children, and mothers cannot recover the necessary support. Washington law may also recognize parentage through the inclusion of the father on the birth certificate or the execution of a State paternity affidavit.
Formally establishing paternity is an important factor in the relationship between the father and his child; however, it does not merely have an effect on the emotional relationship. Establishing paternity has financial and legal significance as well.
It is important for an unwed father to be legally recognized as such to establish child custody and visitation rights. It is also critical in establishing child support and other benefits such as healthcare and inheritance rights.
Our attorneys have represented both mothers and fathers in paternity actions, helping establish paternity in order to resolve custody, child support, and/or visitation issues.
We understand how important it is to establish paternity, whether that be to build a stronger relationship with a child or to ensure protection against being falsely named as a father. When you work with our firm, we will help with the proceedings to establish parentage and file the necessary documents with the court.
For help establishing or contesting paternity, or for help with a parenting plan, the modification of plans, or any other custody-related issue, we invite you to contact our firm for a consultation. We can explain your rights and responsibilities during this process.
Call us to schedule a consultation at your convenience: 509-624-1380.