Friday, April 25, 2014

Consideration in Developing Your Parenting Plan

In Washington, the court considers several factors in developing the parenting plan for the children. The parenting plan will set out a residential schedule, dispute resolution process, and will designate who can make important decisions regarding the children. The purpose of analyzing the factors is to encourage both parents to maintain a loving, stable, and nurturing relationship with the child, consistent with the child’s developmental level and the family’s social and economic circumstances. The broader picture of this analysis is the “best interests of the children” and the court considers:
  1.  The relative strength, nature, and stability of the child’s relationship with each parent;
  2. The agreements of the parties, provided they were entered into knowingly and voluntarily;
  3. Each parent’s past and potential for future performance of parenting functions, including whether a parent has taken greater responsibility for performing parenting functions relating to the daily needs of the child;
  4. The emotional needs and developmental level of the child;
  5. The child’s relationship with siblings and with other significant adults, as well as the child’s involvement with his or her physical surroundings, school, or other significant activities;
  6. The wishes of the parents and the wishes of a child who is sufficiently mature to express reasoned and independent preferences as to his or her residential schedule; and
  7. Each parent’s employment schedule, and shall make accommodations consistent with those schedules.

The first factor is given the most weight in the analysis. Even if you have an amicable divorce, it is recommended that you go through this analysis in proposing a parenting plan or in drafting the parenting plan with the opposing party. Both logistics of the residential schedule and maintaining stable, nurturing relationships should be considered in drafting a parenting plan. 

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Rachel Luke is a attorney in the Bellevue office of Wong Fleming. Ms. Luke practices family law and represents clients on divorces, custody issues, parenting plans, child support, and more. 

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1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing the information.

    Parenting plan has many benefits, particularly in respect of children’s development. This plan helps in maintaining a strong relationship with both the parents and the children.

    There are a number of family law attorneys, who are now days, providing impeccable services regarding different family matters. One such experienced family attorney, named as, Elaine M. Simon, is efficiently and effectively providing comprehensive legal services in Florida.