Divorce Washington Custody

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Before aiming to get divorce in states like Washington, the divorcing spouses need to familiarize themselves with the latest laws and rights associated with this legal process. Irrespective of the fact that whether the child custody case is associated with uncontested or contested divorce, it is necessary to have a definite parenting plan for the child's upbringing in a significant manner. At the same time, the complete process regarding the settlement of child custody in Washington is comprised of definite terms that are specifically used in the Washington state. For example, residential provision word is used instead of physical custody and likewise. The parenting plan holds huge importance during the overall proceedings of divorce. The final agreement on child custodial responsibilities must include the following information:

  • Residential provisions (physical custody) of the child
  • Decision making authority (legal custody) of the parents
  • Provisions for overcoming conflicts between the parents that may arise in the future

Both the parents have equal and complete access to the health care and academic records of the child. The only exception is when there is a court order that dictates the opposite. If one parent requests certain access, the other parent should not ban the same. As a result, the responsibilities of each parent regarding child custody issue may differ depending upon the final decision made by the court of this state.

Joint Physical Custody in the State

The joint physical custody simply implies that the child frequently alternates his or her stay between the residents of both the parents for small and almost same durations of time. The court may issue the relevant orders only when it detects the below mentioned points:

  • The parents have accepted to such an arrangement voluntarily and knowingly.
  • The parents have an agreeable past record of shared performance of parenting functions and co-operation. The arrangement is in best interests of the child. The geographic closeness of the residences of the parents enables them to ensure their capacity of sharing the parenting functions.

Limitation of Time During Child Custody Settlement

The court refuses alternative dispute resolution or joint decision making and might restrict the residential time of the parent with the child, when one of the following points is observed:

  • One parent refuses the other parent's contact with the child without any proper reason
  • Dearth of or no emotional bond between the child and the parent
  • Alcohol or drug abuse by the parent for a considerable duration
  • The parent has chronic physical or emotional problems due to which his or her capacity to care for the child is hampered
  • Past incidences of sex crimes inclusive of child molestation, child rape, incest or any other sexual misconduct pertaining to children
  • Past incidences of sexual or physical assault or domestic violence
  • Emotional, sexual or physical abuse of the child
  • The parent has refused to perform parenting responsibilities and duties or to care for the child
  • Poor financial state of the parents may also be taken into consideration before granting the child custody matter
  • Any other conditions that are proven to be threat to the welfare and interests of the child

Characteristics of Parenting Plan

If a parent has a child who is less than eighteen years old, then it is essential to draft a Parenting Plan. Let us assume that one spouse has served the divorce papers to the other and these papers are accompanied by a Parenting Plan. If the recipient does not accede to the Plan, he or she must draft their own plan and file it in the court. After the divorce is finalized, a final and permanent plan would be declared. However, the court's approval is only given after proper scrutiny of the situation. For example, the court mainly focuses on the personal interest of the child.

When a parenting plan is signed by the court, it is equivalent to a court order that is binding on both parents. If any parent does not follow it, such a parent can be found in contempt of the court. The court might prosecute this parent for custodial interference.

The divorce procedure which is followed in Washington entails the settlement of various family or marital issues by considering the legal laws and rights of this state. Similarly, some sensitive issues like child custody are mainly sorted by drafting definite parenting plan and related essential requirements to this issue.

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