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Child Custody/Parenting Plans/Residential Schedules

Auburn Child Custody Lawyers Assert Your Parental Rights

Dedicated attorneys manage visitation and relocation controversies

Nothing is more important to parents than maintaining a loving relationship with their child. If you are involved in a child custody or visitation dispute in Pierce or King County, Washington, Tim Edwards & Associates, P.S. is prepared to help. Our firm practices exclusively in divorce and family law matters. A former president of the South King County Bar Association and former president of the Family Law Section of the Pierce County Bar Association and current member of the Family Law Section of the Pierce and King County Bar Associations, attorney Tim Edwards has the experience and dedication to handle complex custody and visitation disputes and will strive to protect your rights and those of your children.

Basics of child custody and parenting plans in Washington State

Traditionally, when parents divorced, the court would issue a child custody order awarding physical and/or legal custody to one or both parents, and giving a right of visitation to a parent who did not have physical custody. These concepts still exist, but the law no longer uses this language. Today, courts talk in terms of:

  • Parenting plans — If you and your spouse are getting a divorce, the Washington Parenting Act requires the establishment of a parenting plan that will detail issues of child custody and visitation. Parents in a divorce may negotiate a parenting plan and submit the document to the court for approval. If they contest the matter in court, a judge issues a parenting plan following the trial.
  • Residential schedules and parenting time — Within the parenting plan, there is a schedule detailing where the child will live and when. When a child resides only with one parent, the other parent is granted residential time.
  • Decision-making authority — Another part of the plan covers how parents will make major decisions touching on the child’s health, education, religious training, and general welfare.

In examining a proposed parenting plan the court must considers numerous factors. The overriding consideration by the court in adopting the first parenting plan for the court is what is in the best interests of the child.

If the other parent is unreasonable, we can litigate the matter effectively in family court.

Washington parenting plans and parental relocation

The issue of relocation can come up during or after divorce, when a parent wants custody of the child, but also wants to move out of the area. The reasons are varied: a new job, a new relationship, or to return to the closeness of extended family. The other parent often opposes the move to keep the children close. Relocation is one of the most contentious issues courts are presented with.

Courts will approve relocation if they determine the move is in the best interest of the children, after examining the totality of the circumstances, including the impact on the other parent’s relationship with the children. Our firm offers experienced representation in relocation cases and other matters involving a petition for the modification of a parenting plan. As your advocate in petitioning for relocation or opposing the motion, we bring to the court’s attention all the pertinent facts that weigh in your favor.

Our experience also prepares us to design parenting plans for shared living schedules even when parents live a great distance apart. This usually means the children live with one parent during the school year, but spend summer vacation and select holidays with the other parent. In many cases, where the court might find the children would be better off in the new location, this can be a mutually beneficial compromise.

Contact an established Auburn law firm for determined child custody representation

At Tim Edwards & Associates, P.S., we understand how important your children are. Throughout Pierce County and King County, we assert our clients’ parental rights and work to achieve parenting plans that promote their children’s welfare. To schedule an appointment at our office located in Auburn, call 253-833-6633 or contact us online.

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Our Office
  • 1412 M Street S.E.
    Auburn, Washington 98002
    Phone: 253-833-6633
    Fax: 253-833-4450