Child Custody Attorney in Washington
What Are My Child Custody Options?
What is Child Custody?
This refers to the legal authority of a parent who has the child residing with them the majority of the time. Just because a parent has legal custody, typically the court will allow joint decision making for all major decisions such as the child’s education, welfare, and health. Sole decision making means that only one parent will have the legal right to make these types of decisions for their child(ren). One can be the primary custodial parent, but still be required to work with the other parent to make decisions. A child custody lawyer can assist you in determining all of the different options in establishing a parenting plan or modifying a parenting plan.
It is a possibility for parents to decide on joint legal custody, but not share joint physical custody. A child custody lawyer can assist in determining what type of custody arrangement is best for the child and you.
Does Custody Determine where the children will live?
Custody arrangements, or what is referred to as a Parenting Plan, determines where the child(ren) will physically live the majority of the time. A child custody lawyer can improve your chances of obtaining the custody arrangement you think is in the best interest of your child. The custodial parent provides the child with their daily needs. There are a number of physical custody options available, including sole physical custody, joint physical custody, and shared custody plan.
What most people consider “sole physical custody” as the child living with one parent and the other parent having very limited visitation. Often, in this scenario, the other parent is awarded visitation rights on an every other weekend basis, with maybe a midweek visit. A good child custody lawyer can help prevent you from becoming an every other weekend parent.
Joint physical custody is when the child(ren) will spend nearly equal time living with both parents. While typically ideal, this can be very difficult to achieve without an agreement of the parties or a great child custody lawyer. It is helpful to have an experience child custody lawyer guide you through the process of creating a parenting plan because it will help reduce any future issues. A child custody lawyer who litigates cases tends to have a better idea of what issues are caused by certain clauses and/or arrangements in a parenting plan. It is better to try and establish a parenting plan that will reduce any future issues between parents.
Birdnesting is an idea that many child custody lawyers do not recommend unless the parties are amicable. This might be the most beneficial for young children as they would remain at one residence and the parents would rotate in and out of the home. However, it is the least common as it requires substantial cooperation between the divorcing parents and can be costly to maintain different residences.