Walla Walla Child Custody Lawyer
Many aspects of divorce can be confusing, and child custody issues within a divorce are no exception. While parents going through a divorce continue to want the best for their child, understanding how to approach child custody negotiations can be an intimidating prospect. A Walla Walla child custody lawyer could help you navigate the child custody process with the confidence that they are fighting to protect your family’s rights. Consult a knowledgeable family law attorney that could fight for a positive outcome for you. En Español.
How Child Custody Cases Are Treated
In Washington, courts do not refer to child custody with those terms. Instead, they typically refer to child custody in the form of a so-called parenting plan. Courts prefer when parents are able to come to an agreement on a parenting plan, and typically will approve such plans within reason. In order to effectively approach negotiations over parenting plans, it is important to understand some of the basics of Walla Walla child custody law.
Basics of Child Custody
There are two distinct types of custody: physical custody and legal custody. One or both parents can be awarded one or both types of custody depending on a number of factors and circumstances.
Legal custody determines the ability to make certain important decisions regarding a child’s well-being, including decisions about medical care or education. However, each parent typically retains the right to make emergency decisions regarding the child’s well-being.
Physical custody refers to which parent the child is physically present with. Courts may consider sole physical custody or joint physical custody depending on a number of factors. Such factors may include how present each parent was in a child’s life prior to custody proceedings and even how well parents can communicate with one another—especially regarding the needs of the child.
Divorce courts generally have a strong presumption that a child’s best interests are met when the child can maintain a strong relationship with both parents. To that end, courts often encourage parents to put aside personal differences and work together to develop a fair and detailed parenting plan that addresses issues like child custody.
These plans often involve a lot of negotiation. It is often wise to approach these negotiations by working with a Walla Walla child custody attorney to decide in advance what custody terms are acceptable. Flexibility is also a key factor in developing a successful parenting plan.
Best Interests of the Child
Courts typically accept a parenting plan that both parents have worked to develop. However, they will still evaluate the plan based on the best interests of the child standard. If parents cannot agree on a custody arrangement, then a court may determine one for the family using the same standard.
This standard often includes factors such as:
- A history of abuse
- The physical, mental, and emotional needs of the child
- The physical, mental, and emotional state of each parent
- The child’s preferences, when appropriate
- Each parent’s relationship with the child
- Cultural and/or religious considerations
While not an exhaustive list, these examples emphasize the fact that many factors used in determining a child’s best interests can be subjective. That is one reason why working with an experienced Walla Walla child custody lawyer may be an important part of a successful parenting plan.
Speaking With a Walla Walla Child Custody Attorney
A divorce is often difficult for the parents, but it can also be extremely hard on children. When parents have a better understanding of different aspects of the divorce process, especially child custody, the process can be easier on everyone involved.
A qualified Walla Walla child custody lawyer understands that every family’s needs are unique and every custody arrangement is different. They could be an important part of understanding how the divorce process might impact you and your family.
To schedule an initial interview about working through the child custody and divorce process, call today.