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Custody is one of the most hotly contested issues in family law. Parents want to do what is best for their children. Unfortunately, they do not always see eye to eye when it comes to custody, so the Washington State court system must step in and create an arrangement that works for everyone involved – especially the children.

How Custody is Determined

The court uses several criteria to determine child custody. First and foremost, custody is based on the best interests of the child. Parents are asked to provide a proposed parenting plan. If that plan is not approved, a hearing is be scheduled to settle the disagreement.

Parents might be awarded joint physical custody if:

  • Each parent is capable of participating in the decision-making in a child’s life
  • Each parent lives nearby and is involved in a child’s life
  • Each parent is capable of working with his or her child’s other parent regarding important decisions

If joint custody is not appropriate for a family, the court makes every effort to ensure a child is able to spend time with both parents. This is done through visitation. Visitation rights are available to every parent, unless that parent has:

  • Abandoned his or her child for an extended period
  • A history of domestic violence
  • Physically, sexually, or emotionally abused the child
  • Physically or sexually assaulted the child
  • Been convicted of a sex offense as an adult

Even if any of these circumstances exists, there is still a chance a parent would have the right to supervised visits with his or her child.

Custody Can Be Modified

It is possible to change custody arrangements when life circumstances change. If a parent wishes to request a custody change, they must present a motion to modify the existing agreement with an explanation why the modification is requested.

If you need or want to request a modification to your current custody arrangement, you should contact an attorney. Your request stands a better chance of being granted if you are working with someone familiar with the modification process and who can help you navigate the Washington State family court system. Feldman and Lee, P.S. can help.

Our goal is to protect your rights and ensure your children receive the care and support they deserve. The attorneys at Feldman and Lee take a comprehensive approach to your case and do whatever they can to ensure you are treated fairly. To learn more, contact one of our Seattle area offices.

Contact / Office Location

Lynnwood Office
19303 44th Avenue West
Lynnwood, WA 98036
Phone: (425) 771-3600
Fax: (425) 775-8016

Kent Office
604 West Meeker Street
Suite 206
Kent, WA 98032
Phone: (253) 859-2488
Fax: (253) 859-2295

Marysville Office
519 Beach Avenue
Marysville, WA 98270
Phone: (425) 771-3600
Fax: (425) 368-3610