Washington State Child Custody

Posted by admin on April 27th, 2006

In the state of Washington, no matter what type of custody each parent is seeking during their divorce a parenting plan must be submitted along with the divorce papers. The parenting plan must include what the parents will do in case of any disputes involving the children, which parent will make the decisions regarding the children, and where the child will live.

In determining legal custody in the state of Washington there are factors that will be considered before an award of child custody is given to either one parent or both parents. The court will decide after reviewing the factors which parent will be responsible for the education, health care, and religious training of their children or if both parents can share in these responsibilities. In either case, normally both parents can make decisions on the day to day care of the children while in their care and may make any decisions in an emergency situation that can affect the health or safety of the children.

When deciding on custody joint custody the court will consider the following factors:

* How each parent has participated prior to the divorce in making decisions regarding the rearing of their children.

* If both parents show the willingness and desire to work together in making decisions regarding their children.

* How close both parents live to one another and how it might affect a timely decision making procedure.

hen deciding on which parent is best suited for physical custody of the children the court will consider the following factors:

* The relationship the children have with each parent and if one parent has had more responsibility in the daily functions of the children’s lives.

* If any agreements have been made between the parents.

* The past, present and future parenting performances.

* The emotional needs of the children and the level of development of each child.

* The children’s relationship with their siblings and others living in the home.

* The involvement of the children in their community and school.

* The wishes of the parents.

* The wishes of the children if they are of sufficient age and intelligence.

* The employment schedule of each parent and what accommodations can be made.

If the parents would prefer joint physical custody the court will consider the following factors before awarding this type of custody:

* Both parents have agreed on joint physical custody.

* Both parents can and will perform their parenting responsibilities together and cooperate for the best interest of the children.

* If the parents live close enough to each other to be able to perform their parenting rights and responsibilities.

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