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Washington Divorce Custody


According to Washington statutes, Family Code, RCW 26.09.181-26.09.225, of Washington divorce custody guidelines, the best interests of the child should always be kept in the mind while awarding child custody. Washington laws specify that child custody will not be awarded based on the gender and race of the parent. Every custody case whether has been contested or not must have a parenting plan which the parents have formulated and the court has ordered. It would be decided following the given guidelines:
  • Courts try to establish the extent of parent-child bonding in divorce custody cases in Washington. Which parent can meet the child’s needs, interests, and wishes and to whom does the child turn to during emotional duress etc are analyzed while handling such issues.

  • If a parent has been found to be neglecting parental duties and has willfully abandoned the child for a substantial period of time, then custody of the child is no awarded.

  • According to joint legal custody laws of Washington divorce custody issues, such a custody is preferred if both the parents are interested in the welfare of the child and have priorities of the child as the top most. If the court finds that the parents are cooperative enough for child care purposes, then they would be given joint custody.

  • Washington divorce custody laws specify that joint legal and physical custody of the child is awarded if the divorced parents are geographically closely located such that visiting by the parents is practically feasible. The non-custodial parent gets the visitation rights where he/she has access to the child’s time during weekends, holidays, summer vacations etc.

  • As regarding joint physical custody, employment schedules of the parents are considered to see if it is practically feasible for them to have such a custody of the child, so that the day-to-day time of the child is split among each other in the least hassle free way.

  • Sole custody is awarded in cases where it is deemed dangerous for the safety and welfare of the child due to child neglect or child abuse of physical violence perpetrated by any parent. In such cases, the offending parent might not get the custody of the child and his visitation rights may also be forfeited. WA divorce custody laws mention that such a parent will have access to the records, documents related to the child’s education, medical matters etc of the child only.

  • WA child support is also an important matter while dealing with child custody cases. The net incomes of both the parents are pooled in to arrive at a figure that would be extended as child support to meet the financial requirements of the child. This support can be terminated when the child reaches the age of 18 years or if the child has married or is dead or has joined the defense forces of the country.


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