Kennewick Child Custody Lawyer
When addressing issues of child custody, parents may need to determine how much time the child will spend at each parent’s home, whether one parent will become the primary custodian, and which parent will make day-to-day decisions on the child’s behalf. These decisions can sometimes be reached amicably between parents through mediation without involving the Washington State court system, but other more difficult decisions may require the intervention of a family law judge.
If necessary, a professional Kennewick child custody lawyer may advocate on a parent’s behalf and work to ensure that all decisions regarding custody are made in the child’s best interests. Read on to learn more about how a skilled family attorney could help make a difference in your family’s life today. En Español.
A parenting plan is a court order issued by a judge. It may be a judge’s decision after reviewing evidence, or an agreement made privately between the child’s parents. The parenting plan aims to address all future rights and responsibilities between two parents, such as where the child will reside. In accordance with state law, courts and family law judges will formulate parenting plans with the best interests of the child in mind. Parents are also given the opportunity to create their own parenting plans, which can then be presented to the court for review and approval by the court. Issues that parenting plans in child custody cases typically address include:
- Which parent the child will live with and for what amount of time
- Which parent will care for the child
- What amount of visitation will be granted to the non-residential parent
- How holidays and vacations will be split amongst parents
- How decisions regarding education, health, extra-curricular activities, and religion will be made
- How any disagreements or disputes regarding parenting decisions will be handled
Courts typically prefer that parents share in decision-making authority and may split a residential schedule evenly, so long as joint custody would be in the child’s best interests. If the court decides that the child should primarily reside with one parent, the court typically grants the other parent a set schedule of visitation rights. Know that a dedicated Kennewick child custody lawyer could offer their assistance in these regards in the form of aggressive representation and legal experience.
If a child’s parents were not married when the child was born, the court will require the parents to establish the child’s paternity before the judge chooses to issue a parenting plan. Paternity is typically established either through what is formally known as a paternity acknowledgment or through a separate court hearing. A court-approved DNA test may be required. Know that a determined family attorney can be a valuable asset in expediting this process.
Child Support Agreements
In addition to child custody rights, courts may also determine child support. Child support is calculated through a statutory formula by combining the income of both parents plus the number of children that will require support. Child support determinations are usually not final and may be modified in the future if circumstances such as a change in income warrant such a modification. Similarly, a court’s determination regarding child custody is not final. The court may revisit its parenting plan if there is a significant change in circumstances that warrants such a change.
How a Kennewick Child Custody Lawyer Can Help
Determining child custody arrangements can be challenging for all involved. A Kennewick child custody lawyer may be able to help sift through the issues at hand and assist in both determining and fighting for the best interest of you and your child. If you live in Kennewick and are looking to establish or modify a child custody arrangement, do not hesitate to acquire legal representation from a Kennewick child custody lawyer and set up your initial interview today.