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Marysville Child Custody

Marysville Child Custody Attorneys Protect Your Parental Rights In Snohomish County

Your children are your everything, which makes child custody cases the hardest things parents ever have to face. Acknowledging this, our child custody attorneys who understand the sensitive nature of child custody battles are here for you.

We fight hard to safeguard the rights of our clients and their children, making sure they are treated fairly under Washington state laws. If you're facing a child custody battle, here's what you need to know.

Know Your Parental Rights In Snohomish County

A Snohomish County county court will have jurisdiction over your child custody case if it meets one or more of the following conditions:

  • Washington is the child's home state at the commencement of proceedings or was so within six months before the proceedings began, with the child now absent from the state but a parent or a person acting as a parent still residing in it.
  • No other state has jurisdiction, or another state's court has declined jurisdiction because Washington is considered a more appropriate forum.
  • All courts with potential jurisdiction under the above conditions have declined to exercise it, deferring to Washington as the most appropriate forum.
  • No court in any other state would have jurisdiction based on the specified criteria.

In Snohomish County, parental rights are protected under the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 26.16.125, which states that both parents of a child have equal rights and responsibilities, meaning both parents have a right to fight for custody of their children.

How Do Washington Courts Award Custody?

In Marysville, Washington, family courts decide child custody based on the child’s best interests, which is outlined in RCW 26.11.040.

Part of the custody arrangement is to develop a permanent parenting plan that meets the child's physical and emotional needs. This document minimizes the need for future modifications, encourages parental responsibility, and protects the child's welfare.

Washington courts consider many factors when awarding custody, including:

  • The strength and character of the child's connections with their parents and other key family and community figures
  • The stage of the child's growth and their physical and developmental needs
  • The record of participation and the capacity of each parent to collaborate on decisions impacting the child
  • Any recorded instances of abuse, maltreatment, or neglect of the child
  • The child's preference, considering their age and level of understanding
  • How the proposed parenting arrangement will influence the child's relationship with each parent
  • The alignment of the parents' work schedules with the child's requirements
  • The financial and material capabilities of each parent

The details of these factors determine the parenting plan.

Determining Your Parenting Plan In Marysville

In Washington State, a parenting plan typically encompasses important things like:

  • Location your child will live
  • Decision-making responsibilities regarding your child's welfare
  • Details on how custody will be shared or divided
  • Arrangements for your child's physical care and emotional stability
  • Plans for your child's development and changing needs
  • Methods for resolving future disputes between you and your child's other parent
  • Schedules for your child's time with each parent, including holidays and special occasions

The goal of a permanent parenting plan is to minimize children's exposure to harmful parental conflict and encourage parents to meet their responsibilities through agreements rather than judicial intervention, with the child's best interests in mind.

As outlined in RCW 26.09.015, the parenting plan can usually be decided between the parents or through mediation proceedings. However, in complex or contentious cases, child custody cases may need to be settled in court.

When Is It Time To Hire An Attorney Who Specializes In Child Custody?

To ensure you and your children's rights are fully protected, hiring a child custody lawyer is crucial. They will guide you through the paperwork, deadlines, and procedures to meet all legal requirements and avoid potentially costly mistakes, helping you navigate the overwhelming and complex Washington legal system.

Consider working with a Marysville attorney who specializes in child custody in the following situations:

1. At The Start Of The Divorce Or Separation

If you are initiating a separation or divorce and children are involved, it's wise to consult a custody lawyer immediately. Child custody attorneys ensure you understand your parental rights and what to expect throughout the custody process.

2. During Complex Or Hostile Situations

You need an attorney if you anticipate a contentious custody battle or if your situation involves complex legal issues like parental relocation, abuse allegations, or international custody laws.

3. When Your Parental Rights Are Challenged

For parents whose rights are threatened or who face false accusations that could affect their custody rights, a lawyer’s assistance can be crucial in protecting their interests.

4. When You Need To Enforce Or Modify Custody Orders

If you need help enforcing a custody order or modifying an existing one due to changed circumstances, a lawyer can effectively present your case to the court.

5. When There Are Changes In Circumstances

Suppose you or your ex-partner experience significant changes in circumstances like a remarriage, job loss, or relocation that impact custody arrangements. In this case, a lawyer can help navigate these changes legally and fairly.

6. When You Reach An Agreement Over The Parenting Plan

Even in amicable separations, having a lawyer review any agreement before you sign it is always beneficial. Child custody attorneys ensure the agreement serves your child's best interests and protects your parental rights.

Ultimately, whenever you feel unsure about the custody process or your ability to handle it alone, seeking a child custody lawyer's advice can provide clarity, peace of mind, and a pathway to securing the best possible outcome for your family.

Your Marysville Washington Child Custody Attorney FAQs Answered

With years of experience representing clients in Marysville, our attorneys are here to address all your queries. Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about child custody in Marysville:

Q: How Can A Marysville, Washington Child Custody Attorney Help Me?
A: A Marysville child custody attorney can guide you through the custody process, helping you understand state laws, file necessary paperwork, and represent you in court. They negotiate on your behalf to reach a fair custody agreement and ensure your rights and your child's best interests are protected.

Q: Can My Child Choose Whom To Live Within The State Of Washington?

A: While Washington law does not set a specific age for a child to choose which parent to live with, the court may consider the child's preference if they are mature enough. To determine the child's best interests, the judge will weigh this preference and other factors.

Q: How Long Does A Child Custody Case Take In Washington?

A: In Washington, a child custody case’s duration depends on its complexity, the level of agreement between the parents, and the court's schedule, with timelines varying from a few months to over a year. Your child custody attorney will provide a more accurate period based on your situation.

Q: What Is The Difference Between Legal And Physical Custody In Washington?

A: Legal custody refers to the right to make significant decisions about your child's upbringing, including education, healthcare, and religious training, while physical custody involves where the child lives. Washington courts can award joint or sole custody, both legal and physical, based on what is best for the child.

Q: How Will Child Custody Be Determined If We Were Never Married?

A: When determining custody in Washington, the same criteria apply to unmarried and divorced parents. The child's best interests are the primary concern. However, the father must establish paternity to seek custody rights.

Q: Can I Modify An Existing Custody Order In Washington?

A: Yes, you can request your custody order to be modified in Washington if there has been a significant change in circumstances that impact the child's welfare. Examples include relocation, changes in the parent's lifestyle, or the child's needs. Your child custody attorney will file a petition and present your case to the court.

Q: What Should I Do If The Other Parent Violates Our Custody Agreement?

A: If the other parent violates your custody agreement in Washington, document the violations and contact an attorney immediately. You may need to file a motion with the court to enforce the order. In severe cases, it might lead to modifying the custody agreement or legal action against the violating parent.

As child custody attorneys who live and work in Marysville, we're always available to answer your questions. Whether you are in the process of separating or need to amend your existing child custody arrangement in Snohomish County, our legal team has your back.

With our experience in the Snohomish County courts, we'll fight to protect your and your child's rights through these challenging times. Contact our law firm today to understand your options under Washington law.

Client Reviews
Laurie has worked on my very challenging and contentious divorce and I could not have asked for a better family law attorney. She was able to handle all of the twists and turns of my case with ease. I highly recommend Laurie to anyone looking for an excellent, ethical and hard working counselor. Chandler
Laurie is an incredible divorce lawyer! She did an amazing job with my divorce, and it was a real dog fight the whole way. She is a true fighter. And you can tell that she really cares about her family law clients and the results that she achieves for them. John
My lawyer guided me through a very challenging time in my life when I was going through my divorce. She worked hard and explained every step of the way what was going on so I could understand the process. I was very happy with her work. Barbel