Mediation over child custody is a delicate task, whether it is during the divorce proceedings or comes years later when your or your child’s situation changes. In these cases, it is important to brush up on the specific statutes in Washington law when discussing what makes a parent fit to make important decisions for a child.
Should your spouse fail to perform these established responsibilities, as outlined by the Washington State Legislature, it may be time to reevaluate who is most suited for child custody.
Maintenance and needs
In the parent-child relationship, parenting functions include taking care of basic needs such as feeding, grooming and supervision. This involves providing financial support and a stable environment through housing, clothing and health care.
Fulfillment and education
Keeping your child clothed and fed is not the limit of parenting functions though. A parent fit for child custody must also assist in developing and maintaining interpersonal relationships. More than teaching, parenting functions include creating a loving and nurturing relationship that involves developmental activities and adequate education.
Someone who has the ability to make choices on behalf of a child needs to exercise appropriate judgment in making those decisions. These decisions should have the child’s best interests and welfare at heart.
Failure to meet these functions
This is a lot for you and your spouse to handle and no one is perfect when it comes to being a parent. However, if you believe that your spouse has failed these parenting functions to the point of negligence, there are avenues to help you, mediators or courts to decide whether a custody change is necessary.