Incorrect! When it comes to child custody, possession is NOT nine-tenths of the law. Washington child custody law makes a clear distinction between "physical" child custody and "legal" child custody. In a State of Washington divorce or legal separation, physical child custody refers to the actual time that your child will spend in the presence of each parent. By contrast, legal child custody is the determining factor regarding which parent is primarily charged with making major decisions for your child. The scope of legal custody can embrace such all-encompassing considerations as health care, insurance, education, what religion the child is to be brought up under and countless other major decisions regarding the day-to-day welfare of the child. Drafting a parenting plan that would give you legal custody is a job for a professional Seattle child custody attorney in order to work out the many, fine details. It would more than likely result in a great personal loss for you should you try to go it alone on this score.
At V. Freitas Law, PLLC we have over 20 years of experience providing profession advice in helping parents work out satisfactory solutions to the many child custody issues facing them. We can advise you of issues and potential obstacles that you would have never considered on your own and which will ultimately argue the best case for your being granted legal custody.
A Washington divorce judge has the authority to divide physical child custody and legal child custody as he/she determines to be in the child's best interest. For example, the judge could give you primary physical child custody (i.e., the child will live with you most of the time) while also ordering joint legal child custody (i.e., you and your partner will make all major decisions jointly on your child's behalf). All of this is open for negotiation and must be specified in a valid parenting plan for the judge to read and study. We at V. Freitas Law, PLLC have consummate skill in the drafting of such documents. Contact our Seattle child custody attorney team at (206) 320-7362 that we may begin to formulate a parenting plan that best reflects your wishes in the matter.