seattle child custody

Child Custody

How is child custody decided?
What is a parenting plan?
What are the 4 types of child custody?
Finding “the best” child custody attorney.
How we can help.
Resources to get you started.

Child custody is one of the biggest issues parents face. This is an especially crucial time for fathers.
As written, Washington State Law doesn’t favor one parent over the other or discriminate against fathers. Still, it doesn’t always work like that and many men feel the odds are against them.

How Is Child Custody Decided?


Increasingly, whether parents are married or not, the courts recognize the importance of keeping both parents in a child’s life. It’s rare to award one parent total control. That usually only occurs in cases of abuse or neglect, where health and safety are in jeopardy.

In Washington, the parenting plan usually lays out one parent as the “primary residential parent,” while the other gets “residential time.” The parenting plan also establishes:

    • the decision-making rights and
    • responsibilities for the child’s upbringing. This includes choices about:
    • education,
    • religion,
    • medical care, and more.

When creating the parenting plan, many factors come into play. This includes

    • the child’s relationship with each parent,
    • parenting ability,
    • the child’s connection to siblings,
    • location,
    • physical environment, and more.

In the end, the child’s ultimate well-being takes precedence over most other concerns.

Parenting Plans


The court document that addresses custody matters is called a parenting plan. These orders define everything involving custody and visitation rights.

Parenting Plans Establish:

    • where a child lives,
    • which parent holds the decision-making authority,
    • how much time you spend together,
    • who controls choices about education, religion, medical care, and more.

Because it lays out how much you see them and how present you are in your children’s lives, parenting plans are hugely important. It’s vital to protect your rights as a father and ensure you continue to have a major role in your child’s upbringing.

In Washington, the parenting plan usually lays out one parent as the “primary residential parent,” while the other gets “residential time.” When creating the parenting plan, many factors come into play.

This includes:

    • the child’s relationship with each parent,
    • parenting ability,
    • the child’s connection to siblings,
    • location,
    • physical environment, and more.

In the end, the child’s ultimate well-being takes precedence over most other concerns.

** A Note About Paternity In Child Custody Precedings: Paternity for the unmarried father can only be proven through DNA testing or demonstrated through the existence of a Paternity Affidavit (once called a ‘paternity finding’). **

Once paternity is established, and only when established, everything progresses the same as married fathers.

Fathers are equal to mothers.

Types Of Child Custody In Washington


Legal Custody

Legal custody gives a parent the right to make decisions about a child’s life.

Physical Custody

Physical custody grants a parent the right to have a child live in his or her home.

Sole Custody

Sole custody is when the court gives one parent physical and legal custody of a child. The child lives with one parent who maintains the authority to make all the decisions about upbringing and welfare.

Joint

Joint custody can refer to either physical or legal custody. It’s when both parents participate in raising a child while living separately.

FINDING “THE BEST” CHILD CUSTODY LAWYER

Some things are too important to leave to chance. To give yourself every advantage, look for the best child custody lawyer for your case.

  • Since two cases are ever the same, “best” is a relative term.
  • What’s “best” in one situation may not be in another. The key is to find the right fit for you and the specific needs of your case.
  • What’s “best” for one case can be completely different than another depending on circumstances.

Seattle has many excellent family law attorneys, but finding the perfect match provides a major benefit. Our managing attorney, Ken Alan, will match you to the attorney that will best fit your needs

How We Can Help

Knowledgeable Information

Child custody laws vary from state to state. Our Seattle-based attorneys are well-versed in Washington State law. We offer real answers over the phone at no charge to you.

In-Depth Information

No two cases ever play out the same way. Our managing attorney assesses your situation, examines your options, and gives concrete advice.

Advice

Our attorneys take dynamic, assertive action to champion your rights as a father. Our goal is to protect and preserve your relationship with your children.

Resources To Get You Started

An In-Depth Look at Parenting Plans
Do Unmarried Parents Need A Parenting Plan?
Legal Marijuana And How It Affects Child Custody
Can My Ex Keep My Child From Playing Sports?
What To Expect From A Child Custody Hearing



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