Parenting plans are a key part of successful co-parenting between former partners in Washington state.

The plan is finalized in family court when your child custody, and perhaps divorce, cases are settled. The parents either can agree upon the plan on their own, or a court can set the plan if the two sides can’t reach a deal. No matter who crafts the plan, it should be drafted in the best interests of the children.

The parenting plan in Washington state is comprehensive and detailed. It lays out which parent is the key decision-maker, as well as where children will live during the school year and the summer, allowing for a day-by-day schedule.

In addition, it allows parents to determine where the children will spend school days off – mid-Winter recess, Spring break, Thanksgiving recess and Winter break – as well as legal holidays, such as Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day. Additionally, it allows for family days, such as Mother’s Day or Father’s Day, or the birthdays of the children.

The plan also spells out transportation specifics as well as rights to relocate with the children.

The parenting plan is invaluable to keeping two households running like one where kids are concerned. And parents being flexible about altering the schedule if something special comes up is beneficial to all.

If circumstances change in the long term, such as one parent getting a new job that requires a different work shift, the overall parenting plan will need to be modified.

If parents can’t reach a modified agreement on their own, their attorneys can help the two sides reach a decision. However the plan is shifted, it should be done with the best interests of the children in mind.