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Getting creative with parenting plans in Washington State

In Everett, Washington, a child custody arrangement is called a parenting plan. Parents have the right to create their parenting plans without court interference. However, a judge will review the plan and decide if it meets the child’s best interests before approval.

In the 21st century, many parents want to be more creative when developing a parenting plan. If the arrangement violates no laws and ensures the child receives proper care and quality time with parents, a judge may approve a creative parenting plan.

How creative can parents get?

Courts know that kids need meaningful relationships with both parents. As such, a parenting plan that might have been overruled in past decades may work now. Three creative parenting plans that many parents and children enjoy include the following.

  1. Nesting arrangements. Children remain in one home, and it is the parents who switch residences during scheduled time with the kids. Children often thrive from the stability these arrangements provide.
  2. Individual provisions. In families with more than one child, many parents like plans that allow them to spend one-on-one time with each child, sometimes in addition to family time with all the kids.
  3. Age-based plans. If you have a 6-year-old and a 12-year-old, they may benefit from differing arrangements. For example, your 6-year-old may need to see both parents more frequently than an older child.

While often similar, each state has specific child custody and parenting plan laws. Before you put in many hours working on a creative plan, consider learning more about child custody laws in Washington State. Taking this step can help you avoid wasting your time for no reason.