Family Law Attorneys Advocating For You And Your Children
When a marriage or romantic relationship ends, the most important issue a parent can face is the custody of their children. At this critical time, it is imperative you have an experienced and knowledgeable attorney on your side. In Tacoma and surrounding areas, the Law Office of Sophia M. Palmer is the firm to call. With five attorneys and a dedicated support staff, our practice is entirely devoted to family law. And by limiting the number of cases we take at a given time, we can ensure that we are entirely devoted to you and your legal needs.
Although custody matters are most often the product of divorce, they can also stem from legal separation, adoption or a breakup between unmarried co-parents. Whatever situation you may be facing, our experienced attorneys are ready to help you find a resolution while protecting your children (or stepchildren) and your relationship with them.
A Basic Overview Of Child Custody In Washington
There are a number of statutory factors the court will consider when making a determination on which parent the child should reside with the majority of time (the “primary parent”). What the parenting arrangement will be, either on a temporary or permanent basis, can be decided by an agreement between parents or by a judge if no agreement can be reached. In either case, the resulting parenting arrangement will be memorialized in a court order called a “parenting plan.” This document will set out what dates and times the children will reside with each parent, as well as allocate decision-making and transportation arrangements.
A negotiated agreement between parents is often preferable to a court-ordered one because it gives both parents more control over the outcome. But even if you plan to negotiate, you should still work closely with your own attorney. This will ensure that you receive accurate and relevant information, and it will protect your interests and those of your children. Do not rely on the internet, friends or family to advise you regarding your child custody situation. Failing to take the right action at the right time can result in the loss of the opportunity to obtain the best results in your case.
We Are Here To Help You Seek An Emergency Custody Order, If Needed
We offer immediate, fierce and competent emergency representation on your behalf. Emergency custody may be necessary if your child is in danger due to the actions or behavior of the other parent. This can be due to drugs, alcohol abuse, family violence, neglect, abandonment, or physical or sexual abuse. Our experienced attorneys will help you seek an emergency order that places the child in your primary care and restricts contact with the other parent. It is imperative that you have help from experienced attorneys when facing a crisis involving your child in order to get you the results you need.
Securing Strong Bonds Through Adoption And Stepparent Adoption
Adoption is an important legal process that gives children a stronger sense of belonging and endows would-be parents with the tools they need to provide proper care. It often results in a joyous outcome, but the process itself can be complicated and difficult for certain parties. Our attorneys can guide you through the process to ensure that all requirements are met, including:
Termination of original parental rights: This is the process in which parental rights are terminated for one or both of the legally recognized parents (usually biological parents, but not always). This allows a new family, stepparent or relative, to adopt the child. A parent’s rights can be terminated voluntarily (by agreement), or involuntarily after a determination by a judge. If the parent agrees, and consents to relinquish his or her parental rights, the adoption process can be relatively straightforward. The relinquishing parent signs several documents confirming his or her agreement. If the parent whose rights you wish to terminate is not in agreement, the process can be more complicated, requiring the requesting party to demonstrate it is appropriate to terminate that parent’s rights.
Formalizing the adoption: Once all issues are resolved regarding parental rights, the adoption can go forward. The adopting parent and his or her spouse go through a short investigation, and a post-placement report is generated. Finally, a hearing is held to finalize the adoption.
The adoption process can be complex and sometimes fraught, but the outcome is well-worth the effort. Whether the adoption is agreed or contested, having experienced and knowledgeable attorneys on your side is the best way to ensure your case is handled expeditiously and competently.
A Firm Protecting The Rights Of Fathers As Well As Mothers
Washington’s custody laws are not inherently biased toward either gender, but unconscious bias can sometimes put fathers at a disadvantage. That’s why it is critical to work with the right attorney. Fathers’ rights may include a number of facets of the parental relationship, including full- or part-time custody, access to parenting time, rights to be consulted before adoption of his child(ren) by another party, and more. As marital and custodial rights and statutes evolve, knowing where you stand in your parental relationship is important, and helps ensure your familial goals are met and exceeded.
Discuss Your Case With Attorneys Who Listen And Care
At the Law Office of Sophia M. Palmer, we work diligently to protect your relationship with your kids and to ensure that their best interests are met in any custody matter. To learn how we can help you, contact us in Tacoma to schedule your initial consultation. You can send us an email or call 253-356-6460.