Spokane Child Custody Lawyer
Often the biggest source of heartache and concern in Spokane divorce proceedings is the issue of child custody. The laws have changed in this area, so it is important for you to be sure you understand your legal rights and obligations, as well as your options.
Courts usually prefer for you to settle custody questions by creating your own parenting plan that specifies where a child will reside and who will make decisions. If you cannot create a plan with your former spouse or if the plan you propose does not satisfy the court, the court will step in and make decisions regarding custody and other issues. For assistance with this issue, reach out to a dedicated family attorney. A Spokane child custody lawyer who is familiar with the intricacies of these cases can work toward the outcome that best suits the needs of your family.
Custody and Visitation are No Longer Legal Terms in Spokane
Family law in the state of Washington no longer refers to custody and visitation when it comes to parenting issues. However, most people understand these terms and the concepts essentially remain in place despite the change in terminology.
For instance, the parent with whom the child will reside most of the time may be said to have physical custody. When parents both share the right to make decisions on the child’s behalf, such arrangement effectively constitutes joint legal custody. Get in touch with a Spokane child custody lawyer for more information.
Issues Addressed in a Parenting Plan
Typically, a parenting plan will set forth specifications regarding several different parenting functions. One of the most important parts of the plan is a schedule of residence describing where the child or children will reside on a regular basis as well as on holidays. This residential schedule may be quite complex and change from year to year.
Another factor usually included in the parenting plan is an explanation of how decisions will be made on the child’s behalf. Both parents may share the authority to make decisions or they may split authority so that one parent makes decisions about certain issues while the other parent retains the authority to make decisions about other issues.
One parent may also be granted sole authority to make decisions, which would be the equivalent of having sole legal custody. Parenting plans should also explain how the parties intend to resolve any disputes that arise in the future. For assistance in setting up a parenting plan, or to address specific issues, set up a consultation with a Spokane child custody lawyer today.
Factors That Can Determine Where the Child Will Reside
Although in some cases a child’s time will be allocated equally among both parents, often it is in the child’s best interest to spend most of the time residing with one parent. Factors that a court may use in deciding where a child should reside include:
- Which parent performed the majority of child care functions while the parents were married
- Relationships with siblings and other family members
- Involvement in the community where the home is located
- Desires expressed by the child
Value of a Spokane Child Custody Attorney
Decisions regarding child custody could have a tremendous impact on the life of everyone involved in a divorce. Because it is nearly impossible for a parent to approach the topic of custody from an exclusively logical perspective, it is important to work with an experienced Spokane child custody lawyer who can look at the situation from all angles to present the best case on your behalf. A seasoned custody attorney can understand how the local courts have ruled in situations similar to yours and know the best approach to take to help achieve your goals.