Child Custody & Parenting Time In Washington

Courts in Washington understand the importance of keeping both parents in a child's life, and there is a legal presumption that a child benefits from spending time with both parents.

Difficulties arise, however, when the parents are not able to agree on a parenting plan, and the court is asked to intervene.

The child custody lawyers of LaCross & Murphy, PLLC, work with parents in and out of court to establish effective and enforceable parenting plans that are in the child's best interests. If you have questions about child custody or child support in Washington, contact our office in Port Orchard to schedule a consultation.

What Factors Are Considered When Establishing A Parenting Plan?

While commonly used in the past, the terms "custody" and "visitation rights" are not used in Washington child custody laws. Rather, the term is "parenting plan."

When deciding on an appropriate parenting plan, a family law judge will consider a variety of factors, but the guiding principle is always to do what is in the child's best interests.

The factors considered in child custody matters include:

  • The child's relationship with each parent, and with any siblings and other adults in the child's life
  • Each parent's ability to care for the child
  • Each parent's lifestyle
  • Whether one parent has in the past acted as the primary caretaker
  • The physical and psychological health of both parents and the child
  • The degree to which the child is involved in the community, such as in school, extracurricular activities and church
  • The child's preferences, if the child is old enough to articulate them

Because child custody is a highly emotional and often contentious issue, it is important that you have legal counsel from an experienced family law attorney when establishing a parenting plan — whether you are doing so in court or out of court.

Schedule A Consultation

To arrange a consultation with a family law attorney at LaCross & Murphy, PLLC, send us an email or call our office in Port Orchard at 360-329-6100. We are here to help.