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child custody and visitation Archives

Putting the kids first in a parenting schedule

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.

Research shows that joint custody benefits children of all ages

Divorced couples with children in Washington often have differences of opinion over custody and visitation issues. Some may even believe that sole custody is best for the kids, especially infants and toddlers. However, joint custody is usually better for children of all ages. This is the main takeaway from a study published by a psychologist who analyzed research on various approaches to post-divorce parenting.

Child custody matters may be contentious

Some Washington couples seem to be able to work together despite their pending divorce while others disagree and contest seemingly every single detail. Cooperation can provide significant benefits to both parents in terms of a less costly process and a separation that is less stressful to all involved. Perhaps nowhere is this truer than in the arena of child custody, which can become extremely nasty and, if not reigned in, can be harmful to the children.

Handling the holidays after divorce

Ending a marriage can be among the most stressful events a person will go through in his or her life. The specific outcomes of Washington divorces vary on a case-by-case basis, but they also have many things in common. In cases where children are involved, the holidays can be an especially trying time. Divorced couples often have to deal with sending children back and forth to separate homes for holiday celebrations, which can lead to emotional situations and dilemmas.

Parallel parenting is an option for high conflict couples

Washington parents considering a split are generally prepared for animosity during the initial divorce or child custody proceedings. Conflict between parents is a major cause of stress for children who are already going through a dramatic reshaping of their world. The best-case scenario involves parents being able to put aside personal feelings to put focus on the best interests of the children in a collaborative co-parenting relationship. Unfortunately, that is not always possible. An alternative structure is a parallel parenting arrangement under which the parents communicate as little as possible and focus strictly on controlling their end of the arrangement. As with any parenting relationship, a parallel arrangement has its challenges.

Parents often struggle over child custody issues

When parents in Washington decide to divorce, child custody can be one of the most emotionally painful and logistically difficult issues. Both mothers and fathers often lament that they receive unfair treatment in family court on child custody issues. That's why the process often leads to a great deal of bitterness. This can be especially troubling when both parents will need to work together for years in the future for parenting issues related to the children.

Co-parenting often requires compromise

Divorced parents in Washington may face a variety of challenges as they raise their children. For instance, it may be tough to reconcile the different parenting styles that each person may have. However, it can be easier to work together when both parents realize that their focus should be on the child. In some cases, this means being flexible and learning to develop positive relationships with each other.

Parental visitation after a denial of child custody

Some Washington parents who were denied custody of their children in court may worry that they are on the brink of losing their relationship with their kids. However, even individuals who aren't granted custody can be successful in enjoying substantial visitation rights and time. In general, absent situations of abuse and other severe problems, family courts have a strong policy interest in supporting the involvement of both parents in children's lives.

Documentary puts spotlight on punitive child support system

Family courts in Washington generally have good intentions when they pursue child support from noncustodial parents. The punishments for default, however, frequently make it harder for the parent to catch up on payments. The documentary "Where's Daddy?" explores the harm that children experience when parents cannot pay support.

Reasons to establish paternity and how to do it

Establishing paternity may be done voluntarily or without a father's cooperation, and there are a number of reasons for a Washington parent to do so. One reason is that all children should have the right to know their father. It is the first step in getting a child support order, and it also allows a child to inherit from the father and get any benefits that are due to the child via the father. Establishing paternity may allow the father to seek custody or visitation rights as well.