Washington spouses who are going through divorce should understand that a parenting plan is meant to help children keep a healthy relationship with both households. Neither parent should attempt to undermine the other because they are angry about the divorce.
It's important to consider how the final plan will affect the children. They should take the child's schedule, including extracurricular activities, into account. Parents may also want to consider logistics, such as how far they live from each other and the child's school. Ultimately, the parenting schedule is not supposed to be designed to maximize convenience for the adults. In fact, it may cause inconvenience at times.
However, the schedule should be realistic. This means avoiding making plans based on what could happen in the future. For example, one parent may plan to move closer to the child in a few years. However, the parenting schedule should be based on the current circumstances. If necessary, parents can try out the schedule for a few weeks and make changes.
Parents who cannot agree on a schedule might have to go to court. However, a judge might give a parent less time with the child than what was originally discussed during prior negotiations.
In some cases, litigation may be difficult to avoid. One parent might not be cooperative or even abusive or neglectful toward the child. In these cases, the parent could talk to an attorney about how to obtain sole custody. The parent may need to present evidence to a judge that the child is in danger of neglect or abuse while safeguards can be put in place against an abduction.