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Frequently Asked Questions About Child Custody In Washington

When you’re facing a child custody situation, you undoubtedly have numerous questions that weigh heavily on your mind. At Bottimore & Associates, P.L.L.C., we understand how crucial it is to find clear answers and reliable guidance during such a pivotal time.

Based in Tacoma, our custody lawyers are strong advocates for people in your shoes. We bring more than two decades of family law experience to the table. Our founding attorney, Leslie Bottimore, offers a unique and valuable perspective gained from serving as a pro tem judge. She leads a compassionate team dedicated to making a positive difference in your family’s life.

What are the different types of child custody in Washington state?

Washington law categorizes custody arrangements into two main types: legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody refers to the authority to make significant decisions about your child’s upbringing, while physical custody pertains to where your child lives. These can be awarded jointly, meaning both parents share the responsibility, or solely, where one parent takes on the primary role.

How do Washington judges determine child custody?

All custody decisions must be in alignment with the child’s best interests. The court considers various factors in weighing those interests, including:

  • The child’s emotional ties to each parent
  • Each parent’s ability to meet the child’s needs and provide a safe, stable environment
  • The child’s relationship with siblings and other significant individuals
  • The child’s involvement in school and the community
  • Any special needs

Our lawyers can identify the important factors in your situation.

What is a parenting plan, and what should it include?

A parenting plan is a legal document detailing how children will be raised and cared for after a divorce or separation. It typically includes:

  • The residential schedule for the children
  • Decision-making authority regarding education, health care and religious upbringing
  • Processes for resolving disputes between parents

Since the parenting plan is foundational to your custody arrangement, it’s essential to get it right. Our attorneys can help.

What is a minor guardianship?

Washington recently replaced nonparent custody with minor guardianships. Nonparents who are seeking custody and legal authority over a child must now follow the minor guardianship process. Guardianship grants legal authority over the child’s welfare and living arrangements. The law sets out strict criteria for pursuing a minor guardianship, so it’s critical to work with a lawyer throughout the process.

Get Support And Answers To Your Custody Questions

If you’re looking for guidance on child custody, we’re here to support you. Our team embodies a culture of dignity and respect, especially for children. We can answer your custody questions and help you chart a path forward. Call 253-780-7622 or send us an email to learn more.