One of the more emotionally traumatic issues that come up before any Seattle family lawyer is the development of a parenting plan or child visitation schedule.

Under Washington state law, it is imperative that the best interests of the child be upheld while determining a parenting plan.  Washington courts require that both parents come to a mutually acceptable decision about all matters involving parenting plans, including weekend visitations, and holiday and vacation schedules.  However, in those cases where the parents cannot come to a mutually acceptable decision, it helps to have a Seattle child custody lawyer mediate in order to work out a plan.

A parenting plan will not only involve details about the primary residential placement of the child, but also details about the child visitation with the other parent.  For instance, a parenting plan could include weekend visits with the non-custodial parent.  The weekend visits can be on alternative weekends, depending on the convenience of the child.

A parenting plan must also contain arrangements for the child to spend time with the non-custodial parent during his summer vacation.  For instance, in those cases where the non-custodial parent lives in another state or in another town, a summer vacation of a few weeks with the non-custodial parent may be deemed appropriate.  Visitations must also be planned for times when the child is out of school, like spring and winter breaks.

Additionally, it’s also important that the parenting plan take into consideration the need to celebrate certain holidays, birthdays and other special days with both parents.

The parenting agreement will have a strong impact on the physical and psychological development of the child, and therefore, it is important that you consult with a Seattle child custody attorneybefore finalizing these arrangements.

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