Idaho & Washington Child Custody
At Mosman Law Offices the goal when we handle custody cases is to serve the best interests of the children. Ideally, parents will work together with that common goal in mind. At Mosman Law Offices we seek to achieve an agreement between parents addressing a parenting schedule acceptable to all parties. But sometimes an agreement is not possible, despite our best efforts. Mosman Law Offices can help you:
- Understand Your Rights
- Participate in Alternative Dispute Resolution
- Fight in Court for What is in Your Child’s Best Interests
Every family is different, and every custody case is different. There is no formula to follow to guarantee being awarded custody. Generally, courts favor a schedule in which children spend meaningful time with each parent. How the best interests of your children are met will depend upon the facts and circumstances of your case.
Courts, in establishing custody and parenting schedules, determine what is in the “best interests of the children.” Idaho Code Section 32-717. In making that determination, judges will consider all relevant factors, which can include:
(a) The wishes of the parents;(b) The wishes of the child;
(c) The relationships of the child with each parent, and with siblings;
(d) The child’s adjustment to his or her home, school, and community;
(e) The character and circumstances of all individuals involved;
(f) The need to promote continuity and stability in the life of the child; and
(g) Domestic violence, whether or not in the presence of the child.
See Idaho Code Section 32-717
In Washington, establishing custody and schedules is known as a “parenting plan”. In any action between parents regarding the placement of children “…the best interests of the child shall be the standard by which the court determines and allocates the parties’ parental responsibilities.” RCW 26.09.002. In adhering to that standard, judges seek to:
(a) Provide for the child’s physical care;(b) Maintain the child’s emotional stability;
(c) Provide for the child’s changing needs as the child grows and matures, in a way that minimizes the need for future modifications to the permanent parenting plan;
(d) Set forth the authority and responsibilities of each parent with respect to the child;
(e) Minimize the child’s exposure to harmful parental conflict;
(f) Encourage the parents to meet their responsibilities to their minor children through agreements in the permanent parenting plan, rather than by relying on judicial intervention; and
(g) To otherwise protect the best interests of the child.
See RCW 26.09.184
In determining the residential schedule most consistent with a child’s best interests, judges will look to the following factors:
(i) The relative strength, nature, and stability of the child’s relationship with each parent;(ii) The agreements of the parties;
(iii) Each parent’s performance of parenting functions, including whether a parent has taken greater responsibility for performing parenting functions relating to the daily needs of the child;
(iv) The emotional needs and developmental level of the child;
(v) The child’s relationship with siblings and with other significant adults, as well as the child’s involvement with his or her physical surroundings, school, or other significant activities;
(vi) The wishes of the parents and the wishes of a child who is sufficiently mature to express reasoned and independent preferences as to his or her residential schedule; and
(vii) Each parent’s employment schedule, and shall make accommodations consistent with those schedules.
See RCW 26.09.187.
We can help protect your rights under the law.