When parents in Washington divorce, children are often affected in many ways. One recommended way to make changes to a child's life less disruptive and emotional is for parents ending a marriage to be cooperative co-parents who proactively protect their children.
Explaining your divorce to your children is often a discussion that you will want to carefully think about before you are asked some of the most difficult questions you have ever been asked. As your children begin to make sense of what is happening in their own minds, you will need to start thinking about their future and their relationships with you and your ex. At Clement Law Center, we have experience in helping families in Washington as they face the process of divorce.
Settling custody issues can be the hardest part of a Washington divorce. Altering where your children live and when uproots their schedule. It also changes your overall family life significantly. If there is animosity about the split, it can make negotiation or mediation unrealistic. At Clement Law Center, our team often assists clients with legal support to resolve custody issues.
For children of parents in Washington who are divorced or separated, summertime can be a time of stress and anxiety instead of a time of joy and relaxation. But it doesn't have to be this way if parents no longer living in the same house do some planning before school is out and schedules are more flexible.
While the summer break from school is a time that many in Federal Way look forward to, divorced parents may view it with a certain bit of trepidation. Having their kids out of school presents the opportunity to grow closer to them through an extended summer vacation. However, vacation plans can often interfere with a standard custody schedule.
Gathering the necessary documentation for child custody should begin long before going into court. A judge should receive and have time to review the documents before the actual custody hearings, but parents who are separated and headed for divorce may want to start keeping records of the child's interaction with both of them.
Barring situations involving abuse or neglect, Washington courts prefer joint custody situations when couples divorce. While this is thought to be in the best interest of the child, it can be difficult, or even impossible, to deal with an ex you consider toxic. Psychology Today explains how you can navigate this situation to the best of your ability, to ensure you and your children are taken care of.
When a couple enters into divorce proceedings in Federal Way, the hope is that they will be able to remain amicable towards each other throughout (as hostility may on serve to slow things down and add to the costs all sides incur). Yet certain elements of such proceedings (such as discussions involving child custody) can often spark emotion. Many divorcing parents may try to draw a proverbial "line in the sand" when it comes to custody and visitation, believing that each individually is best suited to care for their children. One has to wonder if their assertions are motivated less for the love they no doubt feel for their kids than it is their desire to punish their soon-to-be ex-spouses.
While many experts may say that a healthy co-parenting relationship is the ideal post-divorce arrangement, it is not possible for all parents. Several elements must be in place for people to co-parent successfully. These include the ability to communicate, consistent rules between households, adherence to the custody schedule but flexibility if it must change and respect for one another as parents. Individuals should also agree on major issues like religion and education, have clear boundaries and behave amicably at events they must both attend for the children.
The good news today for fathers in Washington is that courts often approach child custody cases with the presumption of awarding joint legal custody. This trend marks a dramatic change from what was common for much of the previous century - awarding full custody to the mother. Courts are now increasingly recognizing the importance of keeping both parents involved in a child's life after a marriage ends.