Your children are everything to you. We know this. We are prepared to fight for your custody goals so that you can continue to be the mom or dad you want to be.
We have written hundreds of supporting declarations with our clients. Here in Washington state, the judge reads what we write before they hear anything verbally. You need attorneys who have both excellent written and oral advocacy skills. We work with you every step of the way writing those declarations to make sure you get the custody you want and deserve.
Determining Child Custody
Determining child custody in Gig Harbor, Washington, is an important part of every divorce that affects minor or otherwise dependent children. While nobody enjoys going through a divorce (and there are many painful parts of a divorce to go over with your lawyer), it’s important to always remember the wellbeing of your child (or children). A divorce may mean hard feelings between you and your spouse, but it doesn’t have to mean your children will suffer too. Instead, dealing with a divorce when you have children becomes a complicated and delicate balance of ensuring your kids are raised right, while also taking steps to ensure you don’t miss seeing them grow up.
Child custody is the best indicator of how much time you’ll be able to spend with your kids. Custody is awarded to whichever parent the court decides can provide the best upbringing, and having custody means having more responsibilities: The parent with custody is tasked with raising their child, from taking the to school and doctor’s appointments, to ensuring they stay out of trouble and are fed, clothed, and sheltered.
The parent with sole custody is tasked with making sure their child or children grow up right, and that means the parent with sole custody spends more time with their kids. The other parent will have visitation rights, and can see their kids when the court allows it. This means potentially missing out on major events in the lives of their kids, and living apart from those lives they treasure the most.
Sometimes, despite going through a divorce, both parents can put their differences aside to focus on the wellbeing of their children. If the parents can cooperate and provide the best upbringing possible, the court can award joint custody. Joint custody is when a child spends an even amount of time between both parents, but it comes with certain responsibilities for both parents as well. Child custody in Gig Harbor, WA, can be a complicated matter to cover in court, and joint custody even more so.
In order for a court to award joint custody to both parents, there are a few key requirements that must be met. Most notably, it should be clear that both parents are committed to raising their children, and it should be clear that both parents can cooperate and agree on how best to raise their kids. In joint custody, the parents work together, even though they’re divorced. This means they take equal responsibility in the upbringing: They must live in close proximity to one another, and it should be provable that they both participated equally in the child’s development before the divorce.
Seeking Guidance for Custody Determinations
Joint custody is possible, but it’s not an easy road. A divorce can result in a dissolved marriage, but it shouldn’t have to result in a broken home. With the help of a qualified family lawyer, you can ensure you get to spend a satisfactory amount of time with your children, and never miss out on watching them grow up. At Robinson & Hadeed, we know how important your kids are, and we’re committed to helping you reach agreeable terms in your divorce. Determining child custody in Gig Harbor, WA, is an important step in any divorce – and we’re here to help.
Creating a Workable Parenting Plan
When a child’s parents are granted joint custody, it is important that those parents draw up a set of expectations related to their co-parenting arrangement. Most of the time, courts require that Gig Harbor, WA child custody matters (in which parents share custody) be “governed” by a legally enforceable parenting plan. A parenting plan (sometimes referred to as a “parenting agreement” details the ways in which joint custody arrangements will be executed. Virtually any issue that affects co-parents and their children can be included in a legally enforceable parenting plan. Some of the most common parenting plan provisions include: pick-up and drop-off protocols, dates that the child will be with one parent vs. the other, expectations concerning schooling, religious education, healthcare, and extracurricular activities, communication protocols for the co-parenting relationship, and communication protocols for the child and the parent that they are not residing with at any given time.
Parenting Plan Considerations for Co-Parents
It is critically important that parenting plans are drawn up in ways that are manageable for all involved and that reflect the best interests of the child or children in question. Our firm’s Gig Harbor, WA child custody attorneys have extensive experience assisting parents in creating workable, focused, and enforceable parenting plans.
When constructing a parenting plan, you’ll want to tread carefully. This is a legally enforceable document, so you won’t want to be too vague or you won’t be able to benefit from solid expectations. Kids require structure and benefit from the security that accompanies knowing “what is going to happen next,” so outlining your expectations in detail is important. On the other hand, you don’t want to become so bogged down by nuance that you leave no room for flexibility. Life happens… so many parenting agreement provisions require some “wiggle room” in order to serve any practical purpose.
It is important to note that while courts allow parenting agreements to be modified as a family’s circumstances change or as a child’s best interests evolve, you don’t want to be running back to court every few months. In fact, the court will frown upon modification requests unless significant changes have occurred in your family’s circumstances since the original child custody order was put into place. Therefore, you want to be forward-thinking with your parenting agreement and to leave “room” for your child’s needs to evolve somewhat before you would need to go back to court to get your existing order modified formally.
Legal Assistance Is Available
If you have child custody concerns of any kind, please connect with the experienced Washington family lawyers at Robinson & Hadeed today. Our team can help you to determine which kinds of custody options may be in your child’s best interests. We can also provide you with any and all legal support you may require as you move forward with your child custody case, whether that case is amicable or contentious. In the event that you and your child’s other parent either choose to co-parent or are compelled to co-parent due to the decision of the court, we can assist you with constructing a workable parenting plan that serves your family’s needs and your child’s best interests. We understand that nothing matters more to you than your child’s wellbeing. Please allow us to advocate on behalf of you and your child during this particularly challenging time – doing so would be our honor. We look forward to speaking with you.
8 Essential Tips For Creating A Co-Parenting Agreement
Gig Harbor, WA child custody can be a difficult topic for parents to face, but it’s important to be aware that creating a successful co-parenting agreement is an imperative component to the custody process. Our team at Robinson & Hadeed understands that navigating child custody arrangements can be challenging. However, with the right approach and considerations, you can develop a co-parenting plan that fosters cooperation and prioritizes the well-being of your children. Here are eight essential tips to help you create a co-parenting agreement that works for everyone involved.
Tip 1: Start With Clear Communication
Effective communication is key to any successful co-parenting arrangement. Begin by openly discussing your goals, concerns, and expectations with your co-parent. Be willing to listen actively and respectfully to their perspective. Clear communication lays the foundation for a collaborative co-parenting relationship.
Tip 2: Focus On The Best Interests Of The Children
When crafting your co-parenting agreement, always prioritize the best interests of your children. Consider their age, needs, and preferences when making decisions about custody schedules, holidays, and other important matters. Keeping the children’s well-being at the forefront ensures that your co-parenting arrangement is centered around their needs.
Tip 3: Be Flexible And Willing To Compromise
Flexibility is crucial in co-parenting, especially when unexpected circumstances arise. Remain open to making adjustments to your custody schedule or other arrangements when necessary. Additionally, be willing to compromise with your co-parent to find solutions that work for both parties. Flexibility and compromise can help prevent conflicts and promote cooperation.
Tip 4: Create A Detailed Parenting Plan
A comprehensive parenting plan serves as a roadmap for your co-parenting arrangement. Include details such as custody schedules, transportation arrangements, communication guidelines, and decision-making processes. To minimize confusion and ensure that both parents are on the same page, it’s important to have a clear and detailed parenting plan in place.
Tip 5: Establish Consistent Rules And Expectations
Consistency is essential for children’s stability and well-being. Work with your co-parent to establish consistent rules, routines, and expectations across both households. This helps provide a sense of security and predictability for your children, even in a co-parenting arrangement.
Tip 6: Maintain Respectful Communication
Maintaining a respectful and civil relationship with your co-parent is crucial for effective co-parenting. Avoid engaging in conflict or speaking negatively about your co-parent in front of your children. Instead, communicate respectfully, even when discussing difficult topics. Remember that cooperation and mutual respect benefit everyone involved.
Tip 7: Seek Professional Guidance When Needed
Child custody matters can be complex, and it’s okay to seek professional guidance when needed. Consider consulting with a family law attorney or mediator who specializes in Gig Harbor child custody cases. They can provide valuable legal advice, mediation services, and assistance in resolving disputes amicably.
Tip 8: Review And Adjust As Necessary
Co-parenting arrangements may need adjustments over time as children grow and circumstances change. Schedule regular check-ins with your co-parent to review the effectiveness of your agreement and make any necessary adjustments. Flexibility and willingness to adapt ensure that your co-parenting arrangement remains responsive to your children’s evolving needs.
Let Us Help You Move Forward
Creating a successful co-parenting agreement requires dedication, communication, and a focus on the best interests of your children. It is possible to create cooperation, consistency, and stability for your family by following these eight essential tips when developing a co-parenting plan. If you need assistance with Gig Harbor child custody matters, Robinson & Hadeed is here to help. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and take the first step towards establishing a positive co-parenting relationship.