One of the most important issues that will be on the table if you are getting divorced as a parent of dependent children will be the matter of child custody. Our family law practice is centered in Tacoma, Washington, and in our state a parenting plan must be presented to the court when a divorce proceeding is underway.
Clearly, it is best if both parents can come to a mutually agreeable arrangement. In many cases, one parent will have physical custody, with the other parent enjoying visitation rights. Legal custody gives a parent the ability to make decisions on behalf of the child. Even if one parent has primary physical custody, both parents can have legal custody. It should be noted that the court will decide on a parenting plan after hearing all the facts if the parents cannot come to an agreement. The court would ultimately make a determination based on the best interests of the child.
Parenting Plan Modification
As we all know, the only constant in life is change. If circumstances shift at some point in time, one of the parents may feel as the though the existing parenting plan is no longer acceptable. Under these circumstances, in the state of Washington, the parent requesting the modification could file a Petition for Modification of Adjustment of Child Custody Decree/Parenting Plan.
The individual who is filing for the modification is considered to be the “moving parent” in legal parlance. The moving parent must be able to convince the court that things have indeed changed significantly, and the moving parent must also prove that the modification will serve the interests of the children. Unless the proposed changes are very minimal, the moving parent would be required to attend an adequate cause or threshold hearing to make his or her case for a parenting plan modification.
Schedule a Consultation
In addition to the Petition for Modification of Adjustment of Child Custody Decree/Parenting Plan, other forms must be filed, and you have a much better chance at success if you can proceed with the assistance of a licensed Seattle-Tacoma family law attorney. If you would like to discuss a parenting plan modification or any other matter with us, send us a quick message through our contact page to request an initial consultation.