A parent may be held in contempt if they fail to comply with a Washington parenting plan. A parent may move for contempt if the other parent prevents visitation, does not return the child from visitation, or fails to engage in joint decision-making.
In a recent case, a mother appealed a contempt order after a commissioner found she had failed to notify the father of dental and medical appointments. A parenting plan was entered when the parents divorced in 2014. Pursuant to the parenting plan, the children would live with their mother in another state and come to Washington to visit their father for winter and summer vacations. Each parent was allowed to make day-to-day decisions and emergency healthcare decisions while the children were with them, but nonemergency health care decisions were to be made through joint decision-making.
The father alleged the mother had taken the children to the dentist without notifying him. The mother said she probably had notified him, but that she could have forgotten to do so. The father wanted to engage in joint decision-making and participate in the appointments remotely.