The creation of a sound parenting plan that will serve you and your family for many years to come is, perhaps, the most important part of any Washington parent's divorce process. The thing is, there are a lot of details to keep track of when making a parenting schedule and -- especially if you've never done it before -- it's easy to overlook these considerations.
To get you started off on the right track, here are three vital questions Washington parents should ask when formulating their parenting schedules:
Are you seeking joint physical custody?
Filing for joint physical custody means that your child will have two homes essentially. Many parents these days pursue 50-50 custody arrangements in which they split their children with one another half the time. However, the unique needs of the children involved, the location and work schedules of the parents, and other important factors could alter the way parents share custody with one another.
Are both parents "fit" to serve as parents?
If one parent has a history of physical or sexual abuse against a family member or someone else, or if a parent has a substance abuse problem, the fitness of this individual to serve as a parent could come into question.
When a parent is "unfit," it might not prevent the parent from having contact with the children, but it could necessitate arrangements in which supervised visitations take place, and a court-approved "supervisor" is present at all times during visits to ensure the safety of the children.
Do you have unique scheduling concerns?
Imagine that you have a unique scheduling concern that pertains to your unusual work schedule. Maybe you work ever other week in Barbados but you live in New York City. Or, imagine that you're a firefighter who has to live at the fire station for days at a time, or you're an emergency room nurse who has a 24-hours on and 48-hours off kind of schedule.
These unique scheduling concerns will need to be taken into consideration while arriving at a fair parenting schedule that lets you and your children spend ample and quality time with one another.
In a lot of cases, a successful parenting plan hinges upon the kinds of questions you ask before you pin down your parenting agreement. For this reason, Washington child custody attorneys are experts at asking questions to get to know their clients' wishes and needs. If you're devising a parenting plan, don't leave any stone unturned when it comes to the vital considerations you take into account beforehand.