Writing a Parenting Plan in Spokane Washington
Getting a parenting plan in Spokane does not have to be difficult, but it is necessary. Breaking up is hard to do, especially when children are involved. At this time, more than ever, they need stability. That’s why a parenting plan is the very best thing you can do for them, and for yourselves — whether you are separating, divorcing, or merely ending a relationship.
Required by law in Washington for divorcing couples with children, parenting plans protect everyone in a family during a time often rife with conflict.
Arguments over the children’s visitation won’t need to occur, because the parents have already agreed, in writing, to a schedule specifying which days the children spend with each of them.
A parenting plan helps avoid confusion over who drives the children to school, who picks them up, and other transportation arrangements, because it’s all spelled out in the document.
What if one parent wants to take the children on vacation? Who decides which physician they’ll see, or what school they attend? What about their religious upbringing? It’s all in the parenting plan, so no one has to ask.
Perhaps most important, a couple’s parenting plan designates the primary custodian for the child or children. Doing so determines who claims the child as a dependent for income tax purposes and benefits such as public assistance, as well as who holds primary responsibility for the child’s care.
Protect Your Rights With a Proper Parenting Plan in Spokane County
Link to Court Forms and Parenting Plan in Spokane Superior Court
But what if the two of you get along well? You still need a plan. People are imperfect, and situations can change. What if the other parent suddenly took the kids out of state — permanently? If there’s no plan designating custodial rights, you may not be able to get them back.
That’s an extreme situation, to be sure. But divorce, so often fraught with emotion and conflict and paperwork, tends to bring out the worst in people. For that reason, if you’re going to write a parenting plan, you need the help of a good attorney.
Hiring a lawyer means you’ll be less likely to sign away precious parental rights. It also means the other parent will be more likely to uphold his or her parental responsibilities. And, if your split is contentious, an attorney can smooth the path to a fair and comprehensive plan.
Washington State custody laws can be complex to navigate on your own. Residential schedules, establishing a primary custodian, establishing child support, processing criminal background checks on both parents: the paperwork alone can be daunting. And, if it’s not done properly, you might end up paying more to have an attorney fix problems down the road.
Getting your parenting plan in Spokane right the first time around is very important. Because, while the document isn’t set in stone — in fact, flexibility is key as the children grow and everyone’s needs change — judges may be reluctant to make amendments or alterations unless one or both parents can demonstrate a significant change in circumstances, such as a move. Even then, you might have to wait two years from the date of the plan’s adoption before the court will approve any changes.
You’re divorcing each other, but not your children. As parents, the two of you are responsible for them until they turn 18, and perhaps longer. A good lawyer can help you focus on what’s best for your children, and for yourself. Call Quiroga Law Office today at (509) 927-3840 for help writing your parenting plan.
Writing a Parenting Plan in Spokane was Written by Sherry Jones with the assistance of the Quiroga Law Office, PLLC