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September 2014 Archives

Modifying Your Parenting Plan

Informal Modifications Are Not Enforceable

Parents who share child custody often try to amend the parenting plan informally. They may make oral agreements, written contracts, or even sworn affidavits. However, none of these informal changes are legally binding and will not hold up in court. Parenting plan modifications need to be done through the court system if parents wish for them to be enforceable. If a modification to the parenting plan is not signed by a judge, it cannot be enforced.

Relocation With The Children: The 11 Statutory Factors


This Legal Guide summarizes Washington State's Relocation Act (RCW 26.09.430 through 26.09.480). If the custodial parent plans to move, that person has to give prior notice of the move to the noncustodial parent (or anyone else with custodial or visitation rights). If there is no objection within 30 days, the move will be allowed. If an objection is filed with the court, the court will schedule an evidentiary hearing to decide if the move will be allowed.

Parental Alienation

The "Friendly Parent Concept"

In some cases, the Court may note from the testimony or factual history that one parent is unusually hostile, or has a tendency to undermine the child's relationship with the other parent. Under the "friendly parent concept," the trial court may consider which parent is most likely to foster a child's relationship with the other parent when choosing the primary residential parent. Rossmiller v. Rossmiller, 112 Wn. App. 304, 48 P.3d 377 (2002).