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Washington State Domestic Relations Law [28-09-184]
Parenting plan - objectives
Title 28 - Domestic Relations
Article 9 - Dissolution of Marriage - Legal Separation
Permanent parenting plan.
(1) OBJECTIVES. The
objectives of the permanent parenting plan are to:
(a) Provide for the child's physical care;
(2) CONTENTS OF THE PERMANENT PARENTING PLAN. The permanent
parenting plan shall contain provisions for resolution of future
disputes between the parents, allocation of decision-making
authority, and residential provisions for the child.
(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, consistent with the criteria in
RCW 26.09.187 and 26.09.191;
(e) Minimize the child's exposure to harmful parental
(f) Encourage the parents, where appropriate under RCW
26.09.187 and 26.09.191, 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
consistent with RCW 26.09.002.
(3) DISPUTE RESOLUTION. A process for resolving disputes,
other than court action, shall be provided unless precluded or
limited by RCW 26.09.187 or 26.09.191. A dispute resolution
process may include counseling, mediation, or arbitration by a
specified individual or agency, or court action. In the dispute
(a) Preference shall be given to carrying out the parenting
(4) ALLOCATION OF DECISION-MAKING AUTHORITY.
(b) The parents shall use the designated process to resolve
disputes relating to implementation of the plan, except those
related to financial support, unless an emergency exists;
(c) A written record shall be prepared of any agreement
reached in counseling or mediation and of each arbitration award
and shall be provided to each party;
(d) If the court finds that a parent has used or frustrated
the dispute resolution process without good reason, the court shall
award attorneys' fees and financial sanctions to the prevailing
(e) The parties have the right of review from the dispute
resolution process to the superior court; and
(f) The provisions of (a) through (e) of this subsection shall
be set forth in the decree.
(a) The plan shall allocate decision-making authority to one
or both parties regarding the children's education, health care,
and religious upbringing. The parties may incorporate an agreement
related to the care and growth of the child in these specified
areas, or in other areas, into their plan, consistent with the
criteria in RCW 26.09.187 and 26.09.191. Regardless of the
allocation of decision-making in the parenting plan, either parent
may make emergency decisions affecting the health or safety of the
(b) Each parent may make decisions regarding the day-to-day
care and control of the child while the child is residing with that
(c) When mutual decision making is designated but cannot be
achieved, the parties shall make a good-faith effort to resolve the
issue through the dispute resolution process.
(5) RESIDENTIAL PROVISIONS FOR THE CHILD. The plan shall
include a residential schedule which designates in which parent's
home each minor child shall reside on given days of the year,
including provision for holidays, birthdays of family members,
vacations, and other special occasions, consistent with the
criteria in RCW 26.09.187 and 26.09.191.
(6) PARENTS' OBLIGATION UNAFFECTED. If a parent fails to
comply with a provision of a parenting plan or a child support
order, the other parent's obligations under the parenting plan or
the child support order are not affected. Failure to comply with
a provision in a parenting plan or a child support order may result
in a finding of contempt of court, under RCW 26.09.160.
(7) PROVISIONS TO BE SET FORTH IN PERMANENT PARENTING PLAN.
The permanent parenting plan shall set forth the provisions of
subsections (3)(a) through (c), (4)(b) and (c), and (6) of this
section. [1991 c 367 § 7; 1989 c 375 § 9; 1987 c 460 § 8.]
Severability--Effective date--Captions not law--1991 c 367:
See notes following RCW 26.09.015.
Custody, designation of for purposes of other statutes: RCW
Failure to comply with decree or temporary injunction--Obligations
not suspended: RCW 26.09.160.
Correct as at 13 January 1997
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