The modification of a Washington parenting plan over the other parent’s objection can be difficult. In fact, there is a presumption against it. Washington child custody attorneys know that Washington courts have recognized that children have a strong interest in finality in their living arrangements. Courts will not disturb the residential arrangements in a parenting plan over a parent’s objection unless there has been a substantial change in circumstances, and the modification is in the child’s best interest. The court must deny a motion to modify unless it finds adequate cause to hear the motion.
A recent case explored the issue of adequate cause. The father petitioned to modify the parenting plan. He and his former wife had two children together. In the parenting plan, the mother was designated as the residential parent, and the father was given residential time with the kids on alternating weekends, winter breaks, mid-winter breaks, and spring breaks. He was also given residential time during half of the holidays.
The parents cooperated on parenting after the divorce, spending holidays together. The mother began a relationship with another man in 2012, and the father remarried.