In Washington State, a court order called a "Parenting Plan" addresses a child's residential schedule, as well as parental rights and responsibilities. It is the responsibility of the Court in Washington State to ensure that the provisions of the Parenting Plan serve the best interests of the child. The final Parenting Plan can be agreed upon by both parties, resolved through mediation, or determined by the court in a trial. Having the guidance of an experienced child custody attorney is critical to ensuring that your parental rights are maintained throughout the process.
In a child custody case, the parenting plan will designate one parent as the custodial parent for purposes of state laws. This does not mean that one parent has greater rights that the non- custodial parent. In most situations, the non-custodial parent will retain their parental rights which includes residential time, as well as educational and medical decisions relating to the child. In the event that there is a legal finding of neglect or abuse of the child, domestic violence, or alcohol/drug abuse by the parent, or any other conduct that might impact the child, parental rights can become limited.
Bryan Geissler has extensive experience in high-conflict child custody cases. Many of these cases involve allegations of domestic violence, alcohol and drug abuse, sexual abuse, and other situations where one parent is seeking limitations on the parental rights of the opposing parent. Included in these limitations are supervised contact, limited contact, or no contact between parent and child. High-conflict child custody cases can be extremely complex, and often involve the input of a court appointed Guardian ad litem (GAL) . It is critical that this type of case is managed properly and strategically from the very start, and hiring an attorney that has extensive experience in high-conflict cases is critical.
If you are considering divorce, a modification to an existing parenting plan, paternity case, or any other action in Family law relation to the custody of a child, call our office to schedule a complimentary initial consultation.