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Legal Information: Washington

Custody

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Updated: 
December 3, 2020

What are the steps for getting a parenting plan from the court?

The specific steps for getting a parenting plan may vary, depending on your particular situation.  You will need to file the appropriate court action and fill out a series of forms including a proposed parenting plan, which includes a “residential schedule.”1

If the other parent or someone with whom the other parent lives has a history of acts of domestic violence, you can request that the other parent receive limited or no time with the child.  There are also other possible reasons why that parent’s time with the child should be restricted.2  Please see How will a judge make a decision about custody? for more information.

If you are going to file for custody without an attorney, you can find custody forms on our WA Download Court Forms page.  You may also be able to obtain self-help information from the Northwest Justice Project’s CLEAR (Coordinated Legal Education, Advice and Referral) hotline at 1-888-387-7111.  You can also find contact information for legal services on our WA Finding a Lawyer page.  Custody matters are often complicated and if you can have a lawyer draft the paperwork for you, it might make the process much easier for you.

1 For a copy of a “residential schedule,” see the WA Courts website or our WA Download Court Forms page
2 R.C.W. § 26.09.191(2)(a)