Parenting Plans

Building a comprehensive plan for your child

Your child deserves a well-thought-out parenting plan to address their current and future needs, which may extend through adulthood. The plan addresses your child’s residential schedule (time spent with each parent), who will make major decisions, and how disputes will be resolved. Our family law attorneys will work with you to make sure the plan presented is comprehensive and meaningful.

 

Co-parents can negotiate the terms of a parenting plan without going through mediation or the court system. Still, it is always recommended you have an experienced family law attorney review your documents before finalizing them. Our attorneys understand where conflict may arise and can help to prevent problems before they appear.

FACTORS TO CONSIDER

Creating a Parenting Plan

When creating a parenting plan, Washington State courts take the following seven factors into consideration:

  1. The relative strength, nature, and stability of the child’s relationship with each parent
  2. The agreements of the parties provided they were entered into knowingly and voluntarily
  3. Each parent’s past and potential for future performance of parenting functions, including whether a parent has taken greater responsibility for performing parenting functions relating to the daily needs of the child
  4. The emotional needs and developmental level of the child
  5. The child’s relationship with siblings and with other significant adults as well as the child’s involvement with his or her physical surroundings, school, or other significant activities
  6. The wishes of the parents and the wishes of a child who is sufficiently mature to express reasoned and independent preferences as to his or her residential schedule
  7. Each parent’s employment schedule and accommodations consistent with those schedules


You will want to consider many circumstances: living arrangements, vacations, school, summer break arrangements, summer camp, learning to drive, piercings, tattoos, extracurricular activities, military service before the age of 18, and virtually any other major decision that may come up between now and adulthood. As different as each family is, as diverse as every family’s traditions are, each parenting plan is equally unique. 

A FAMILY ROADMAP

When Do You Create a Parenting Plan?

 
It is common to create a parenting plan when divorcing, but it is best to have a formal parenting plan in place anytime two people are co-parenting a child in separate homes. A good plan can serve as a roadmap for the family. Both parents have an understanding of how decisions will be made and can avoid unnecessary conflict. 

IF A CHANGE IS NEEDED

Modifying a Parenting Plan

 

Modifications can be costly, particularly if they require going to court. We can work with you to help you understand your best course of action. A skilled attorney from our firm can help mitigate conflict while advising you of your rights and any potential risks associated with filing a modification.

Money & Assets

STAY UP TO DATE

Subscribe to our newsletters

 
Subscribe to one or more of our newsletters, delivering meaningful insight on topics that matter to you and your family.
ebl home subscribe image

FURTHER READING

Blog Posts

Not sweating the small stuff is even more important during separation than it is at other times to have an amicable divorce.

Many people delay estate planning because facing sickness and death can be uncomfortable. However, preparation is necessary to have your wishes honored as you intend. With this in mind, consider the following suggestions to stay focused on these estate planning goals.

The thought of how to approach your partner for a divorce can be stressful, even if you believe they will take the news "well.” The upside is there are ways to communicate your intentions that can minimize the uncomfortable feelings you are experiencing while helping to make the conversation go more smoothly.

Unsure where to begin gathering the foundation you need to go through the divorce process with confidence and well-prepared? Consider the following 10 tips to prepare for divorce.

A common question about legal fees is why they are so high. The following article details what is built into legal fees and explains their cost.

Gifting an estate plan is an act of love because an estate plan goes far beyond material possessions, addressing the emotional, practical, and long-term well-being of your loved ones.

Prenuptial agreements (also known as prenups) can play a pivotal role in safeguarding individual spousal rights in the event of divorce and can also strengthen a marriage.

Valentine’s Day can be tricky for single parents, maybe even you. Unpartnered, at least for the time being, you might not foresee your plans fitting into conventional images of the holiday. But that doesn’t have to be. Valentine’s Day, when you’re single, can be more than a day you need to survive. It can be a day to look forward to.

Collaborative law has evolved into a globally practiced
discipline, extending well beyond the realm of family law, and is used frequently in Seattle divorces.

Classifying January as divorce month could be misleading, given how some of the numbers tell a different story. However, one thing remains clear: January is a great time for a fresh start.

A family law attorney can help with child custody (residential time) by creating or modifying a parenting plan.

The law makes it easy for people to get out of bad marriages. Washington, like most states, acknowledges no-fault divorce. This means that if you want a court to dissolve your marriage, all you have to do is file for…

Washington state’s laws on non-marital relationships, including committed intimate relationships (CIRs), can be convoluted, especially in the absence of a cohabitation agreement. Given the ambiguity that exists for unmarried partners in Washington state, thinking about the future and what it could look like is more important than ever. This is especially true in terms of aging, incapacity, and death. Fortunately, you can address each of these issues in a comprehensive estate plan.

Family law and estate planning often intersect. This is particularly true when contemplating divorce, remarriage, or blending families.

At some point during your divorce case, friends and family members whose own marriages ended in divorce probably told you that it gets better, and it does. Of course, from your perspective, getting out of a bad marriage might be…