Both parents have the right to custody of their child, and that's typically the preference of the courts. The idea is a simple one: each child and parent has the right to develop their relationship. Barring any serious issues like abuse or neglect, child custody is a right both parents have. Determining what that manifests as is another issue altogether.
At the Law Office of Amy Rimov, our attorneys will thoroughly review your case, listen to your concerns and preferences, and outline the best course of action for you. We know you have your child's best interests at heart. To that end, we will make every effort to attain the child custody arrangement best for you and your child. Contact us online or at (509) 835-5377 to schedule a consultation.
What is Child Custody?
When two parents are no longer together, one of the most important matters to be decided is who will have custody of their child. In most states, there are two different types of custody that the court must consider: legal custody and physical custody.
Legal custody is not related to whom the child lives with. Instead, the parent with legal custody has the legal right to make important life decisions for the child. For example, a parent with legal custody will decide where the child attends school and the type of healthcare they will receive. It is possible in some states for the parents to share legal custody.
Physical custody concerns where the child resides. It may be awarded solely to one parent, or it may be shared jointly between parents. Parents with joint custody will have a plan set in place that determines who has the child when.
When determining who to award child custody to, a court will consider what is in the best interest of the child. Some of the factors the court will look at are:
- Who can provide a safe environment for the child
- Any evidence of abuse
- The child's relationship with each parent
If a matter affects the child, the court will likely consider it when awarding custody.
Parent Plans and Child Custody
Once child custody has been determined, unless one parent has sole custody, Washington State requires the parties enter into a parenting plan. A parenting plan lays out what is expected of each parent to provide the child with the physical and mental stability they need to prosper. It can address everything from where a child lives, to the religion they will be exposed to. The parenting plan is an agreement the parties reach together, often with the help of mediation, or can be ordered by a Judge if the parents cannot agree to an arrangement.
Unfit Parents and Child Custody
When a court reviews a case and determines that a parent is unfit, it is likely it will award custody to another party, and the court may allow the unfit parent supervised visitation. The court may also order the unfit parent to undergo counseling and parenting classes if they want to continue to have visitation with their child.
Contact a Child Custody Lawyer Today
If you are facing a child custody issue, make certain your rights are protected by hiring a lawyer with experience in child custody disagreements. Contact the Law Office of Amy Rimov today by using our online form or calling us directly at (509) 835-5377.