Call For A Free Consultation - (425) 276-7390

DC Nguyen Law

In The Best Interest Of The Child

In The Best Interest Of The ChildFactors And Considerations Of Child Custody And Visitation In Washington State

Child custody and visitation matters in a divorce are perhaps the most heated and emotionally difficult to face if going through the divorce yourself. The court has a very different point of view, however…

The standard Washington State uses to determine child custody and visitation is based on the best interest of the child. Typically, what is in the best interest of the child is to maintain the status quo, regardless of what you want or think. Courts generally do not like making changes for children, especially drastic ones. As a result, the court will attempt to determine who, for the sake of custody, the primary parent is. A range of factors are taken into consideration when courts determine this. It examines behaviors that demonstrate a genuine attempt to care for the child. The court will ask things such as:

  • Who cultivated the child’s education, doing things like helping them with homework or taking them to and from school?
  • Who tended to the child’s physical needs, doing things like bathing them, preparing their food, or taking them to the doctor’s office?
  • Who sought the child’s general welfare otherwise, doing things like taking them to activities they enjoy doing?
  • Who can give the child the most regular schedule that is conducive to their overall well-being?
  • And more…

If the parent determined to be the primary parent stayed with the children at home, the court is very likely to grant them custody, whereas the other parent will only get visitation.

Visitation is based largely on the depth of the relationship and commitment to the child’s well-being over time. That is, If the parent was living in the same home and would only have dinner with them after work a few nights a week, they will likely get weekend visitation. But, if they went to work, came home, cooked dinner with the other spouse, bathed and put the child to sleep, and took them out on the weekends, the court will likely grant more time with the child than just the weekends. Due to the unique nature of each case and its specific circumstances, it is challenging to provide precise details on how a schedule would turn out.

Common Temporary Custody Arrangements: Models And Considerations

For temporary custody orders, there are a few common arrangements. Perhaps the most common arrangement is one where the child spends Monday through Friday with the primary parent and weekends with the non-primary parent. Sometimes this weekend visitation only occurs every other weekend, with an occasional one-off mid-week visitation to touch base.

The court has recently been using other models, such as the four-three-four model where visitation is alternated between both parents. These ensure a more equal allowance of time. For example, the four-three-four may include Monday through Wednesday with the primary parent, Wednesday through Sunday with the non-primary parent, then Monday through Thursday with the non-primary parent, and Thursday through Sunday of the second week with the primary parent again. Other models grant a parent custody one week and the other the next with weekends also split equally between them. Again, each case and its corresponding set of circumstances are unique, so there is no way to advise how a schedule may specifically turn out.

For more information on Child Custody & Visitation Matters In A Divorce, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (425) 276-7390 today.

DC Nguyen Law

Call For A Free Consultation
(425) 276-7390

Accessibility Accessibility
× Accessibility Menu CTRL+U