Custody cases in Washington are quite unique from other places in the country. Terms such as "joint custody" and "sole custody" are not used to address the custodial situation of a minor child. At the Law Offices of Susan Millican O'Brian & Associates, P.S., our lawyers can help you understand the legal jargon and the process that is used in parenting cases across the state.
The parental caregivers of a child are both considered residential parents. Although the situation may be similar to joint custody, in Washington state that concept relates primarily to joint decision making regarding the child rather than physical custody. Also, the term custody has given way to the more favorable term "parenting" and the establishment of a "parenting plan."
A parenting plan schedule details certain factors in the upbringing of a child and governs issues such as the amount of time spent residing with each parent and at what time of the week/month/year that residency is to take place.
Modifications of parenting and parenting plans require a substantial change of circumstances. However, if the residential parent wishes to move, this would involve a separate relocation action.
Our firm also handles third-party custody matters, such as grandparents who have been caring for or have temporary care of a child. We assist clients in solidifying the arrangements in order to preserve the best interests of the child. Our attorneys can also help you understand the various state and federal laws that apply to non-parents.
Contact a Washington state child custody attorney at the Law Offices of Susan Millican O'Brian & Associates, P.S., today.