Creating a Stable Routine by Establishing Residential Schedules
When unmarried or separated parents are no longer living together, it can be tempting to try to work together to create a parenting schedule without involving the a professional or the courts. While this sentiment is admirable, it frequently ends up causing difficulties or other problems down the road for everyone involved, especially the children.
Experts agree that children need as much stability as possible while growing up, and that is virtually impossible to provide when there is no routine in place. In addition to missing a routine, working without a residential schedule usually leads to unnecessary arguing, confusion and other problems between the parents because inevitably they end up disagreeing on many important points.
In Washington, the process of creating a parenting plan for unmarried or separated parents is known as establishing a residential schedule. This process can often times be handled through mediation. In some cases, if the parents are unable to compromise or agree to terms, any unsettled items will be determined by a judge or commissioner.
Once the residential schedule is established, both parties will have a set schedule for when they will be responsible for the children. This helps the children by setting a routine that they can rely on for years to come. It also allows the parents to start planning for the future without the uncertainty that comes with attempting to divide up parental time without a clear and enforceable guideline in place.
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If you need to establish a residential schedule for your child or children, please do not hesitate to contact us. We will be more than happy to work with you to come up with an arrangement that works well for everyone involved. We look forward to helping you soon.