HOUSE BILL NO. 2200
State of Washington 51st Legislature 1989 Regular Session
By Representative P. King
Read first time 3/2/89 and referred to Committee on Judiciary.
AN ACT Relating to parenting; amending RCW 26.09.002, 26.09.004, 26.09.184, 26.09.187, 26.09.191, 26.09.194, 26.09.197, 26.09.255, 26.09.260, 26.09.285, 26.26.130, and 26.26.160; adding new sections to chapter 26.09 RCW; and declaring an emergency.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON:
Sec. 1. Section 2, chapter 460, Laws of 1987 and RCW 26.09.002 are each amended to read as follows:
have the responsibility to make decisions and perform other parental functions
necessary for the care and growth of their minor children. In any proceeding
between parents under this chapter, the best interests of the child, the
rights of the children, and the rights of the parents shall be the standards
by which the court determines and allocates the parties' parental
responsibilities. The state recognizes the fundamental importance of the
parent-child relationships to the welfare of the child, and that the
relationship between the child and each parent should be fostered unless
inconsistent with the child's best interests and proven harmful to the child.
The best interests of the child are served by a parenting arrangement that best
maintains)) provides for a child's emotional (( growth)),
mental, and physical health, growth, and stability(( , and
physical care)). Further, the best interest of the child is ordinarily
served when (( the existing pattern of interaction between a)) the
continued and frequent contact between each parent and child is divided
equally or nearly equally between the parents and is altered only to the
extent necessitated by the changed relationship of the parents or as required
to protect the child from physical, mental, or emotional harm.
The policy of the state is that each minor child has the right to emotionally bond with, and have natural affection and respect for, both parents; each minor child has the right to frequent and continuing contact with both parents and that equal or nearly equal contact between both parents is fundamental to the child's natural and maximal stability, emotional security, growth, and adjustment. Each minor child has the right to perceive both parents as a parent of natural authority and influence and that each parent has the right to care, custody, and control of their child. To fulfill these rights and keep these aspects of a natural parent-child relationship intact is most commonly in the child's best interest.
The policy of the state shall be to encourage cooperation between the parents in raising their child. In effectuating this policy the courts shall discourage and deter either parent's unjustified attempts to interfere with the child's natural relationship with the other parent, or with the fundamental and legal rights of the child or other parent, by considering that the more cooperative and sharing parent is commonly the most fit parent for being awarded greater parenting rights, privileges, and responsibilities when necessary, and that this would normally be in the best interest of the child. The court shall extend the virtues of fairness, acceptance, cooperation, and reasonableness, and the understanding that these characteristics are paramount to the welfare of the child by means of a presumption in favor of joint parenting.
The policy of the state shall be that neither parent shall be preferred over the other in determining residential provisions, daily control, custody of the child, financial support of the child, decision-making authority, or parental rights on the basis of gender or the past performance of a predetermined particular parenting role or function.
Sec. 2. Section 3, chapter 460, Laws of 1987 and RCW 26.09.004 are each amended to read as follows:
The definitions in this section apply throughout this chapter.
(1) "Joint parenting" means both parents having: Equal custodial rights, mutual decision-making authority or equal distribution of the areas of decision-making authority, equal or nearly equal sharing of parenting responsibilities, and equal residential parenting time or as equal as possible as determined by the practicabilities of each case.
(2) "Temporary parenting plan" means a plan for parenting of the child pending final resolution of any action for dissolution of marriage, declaration of invalidity, or legal separation which is incorporated in a temporary order.
(3) "Permanent parenting plan" means a plan for parenting the
child, including allocation of parenting functions, which plan is incorporated
in any final decree or decree of modification in an action for dissolution of
marriage, declaration of invalidity, or legal separation.
(4) "Parenting functions" means those aspects of the
parent-child relationship in which the parent makes decisions and performs
functions necessary for the care and growth of the child. Parenting functions
(a) Maintaining a loving, stable, consistent, and nurturing relationship with the child;
Attending to the daily needs of the child, such as ((
physical care (( and grooming)), supervision, emotional nurturing,
health care, (( and day care,)) and engaging in other activities which
are appropriate to the developmental level of the child and that are within the
social and economic circumstances of the particular family;
(c) Attending to adequate education for the child, including remedial or other education essential to the best interests of the child;
(d) Assisting the child in developing and maintaining appropriate interpersonal relationships;
(e) Exercising appropriate judgment regarding the child's welfare, consistent with the child's developmental level and the family's social and economic circumstances; and
(f) Providing for the financial support of the child.
Sec. 3. Section 8, chapter 460, Laws of 1987 and RCW 26.09.184 are each amended to read as follows:
(1) OBJECTIVES. The objectives of the permanent parenting plan are to:
for the child's ((
physical care)) mental, emotional, and physical
the child's emotional stability)) Provide for the child's continuing and
frequent contact with both parents;
(c) Provide for the child's changing needs as the child grows and matures, in a way that minimizes the need for future modifications to the permanent parenting plan;
(d) Set forth the authority and responsibilities of each parent with respect to the child, consistent with RCW 26.09.002 and the criteria in RCW 26.09.187 and 26.09.191;
(e) Minimize the child's exposure to harmful parental conflict by considering that the most reasonable, cooperative, and sharing parent is normally the more fit parent;
(f) Encourage the parents, where appropriate under RCW 26.09.187 and 26.09.191, to meet their responsibilities to their dependent children through agreements in the permanent parenting plan, rather than by relying on judicial intervention; and
(g) To otherwise protect the best interests and rights of the child and the rights of the parents consistent with RCW 26.09.002.
(2) CONTENTS OF THE PERMANENT PARENTING PLAN. The permanent parenting plan shall contain provisions for resolution of future disputes between the parents, allocation of decision-making authority, residential provisions for the child, a statement regarding relocation with the children, the tax exemption for the child, and financial support for the child consistent with RCW 26.09.002 and the criteria in RCW 26.09.187 and 26.09.191.
(3) DISPUTE RESOLUTION. A process for resolving disputes, other than court action, shall be provided unless precluded or limited by RCW 26.09.187 or 26.09.191. A dispute resolution process may include counseling, mediation, or arbitration by a specified individual or agency, or court action. In setting forth a dispute resolution process, the permanent parenting plan shall state that:
(a) Preference shall be given to carrying out the parenting plan;
(b) The parents shall use the designated process to resolve disputes relating to implementation of the plan, except those related to financial support, unless an emergency exists;
(c) If the court finds that a parent has used or frustrated the dispute resolution process without good reason, the court shall award attorneys' fees and financial sanctions to the prevailing parent; and
(d) The parties have the right of review from the dispute resolution process to the superior court.
(4) ALLOCATION OF DECISION-MAKING AUTHORITY.
(a) The plan shall allocate decision-making authority to one or both parties regarding the children's education, health care, organized extracurricular activities, and religious upbringing. The parties may incorporate an agreement related to the care and growth of the child in these specified areas, or in other areas, into their plan, consistent with the criteria in RCW 26.09.187 and 26.09.191. Regardless of the allocation of decision-making in the parenting plan, either parent may make emergency decisions affecting the health or safety of the child.
(b) The plan shall state that:
(i) Each parent may make decisions regarding the day-to-day care and control of the child while the child is residing with that parent;
(ii) When mutual decision making is designated but cannot be achieved, the parties shall make a good-faith effort to resolve the issue through the dispute resolution process.
(5) RESIDENTIAL PROVISIONS FOR THE CHILD. The plan shall include a residential schedule which designates in which parent's home each dependent child shall reside on given days of the year, including provision for holidays, birthdays of family members, vacations, and other special occasions, consistent with the criteria in RCW 26.09.187 and 26.09.191.
SUPPORT. Provision shall be made for the financial support of the child in
accordance with RCW 26.09.100((
, 26.09.130,)) and 26.09.135. The provision
shall state the identity of the child for whom support is paid, the amount of
support to be paid and by whom, provision for medical and dental insurance
consistent with RCW 26.09.105, notice regarding mandatory wage assignments as
required by RCW 26.09.135, and the terms under which the support obligation
(7) The plan shall state that if a parent fails to comply with a provision of a parenting plan, the other parent's obligations under the parenting plan are not affected.
Sec. 4. Section 9, chapter 460, Laws of 1987 and RCW 26.09.187 are each amended to read as follows:
(1) DISPUTE RESOLUTION PROCESS. The court shall not order a dispute resolution process, except court action, if any limiting factor under RCW 26.09.191 applies, or if either parent is unable to afford the cost of the proposed dispute resolution process. If a dispute resolution process is not precluded or limited, then in designating such a process the court shall consider all relevant factors, including:
(a) Differences between the parents that would substantially inhibit their effective participation in any designated process;
(b) The parents' wishes or agreements and, if the parents have entered into agreements, whether the agreements were made knowingly and voluntarily; and
(c) Differences in the parents' financial circumstances that may affect their ability to participate fully in a given dispute resolution process.
OF DECISION-MAKING AUTHORITY. (a))) AGREEMENTS BETWEEN THE PARTIES. The court shall
approve agreements of the parties allocating decision-making authority, (( or
specifying rules in the areas listed in RCW 26.09.184(4)(a))) regarding
residential provisions, and selecting a dispute resolution process, where
it finds that:
(a) The agreement is consistent with any limitations (( on a parent's
decision-making authority)) mandated by RCW 26.09.191; and
(b) The agreement is knowing and voluntary.
SOLE DECISION-MAKING AUTHORITY. The court shall order sole decision-making to
one parent when: (i) A
limitation on the other parent's decision-making authority is mandated by RCW
26.09.191; (ii) Both
parents are opposed to mutual decision making; (iii) One
parent is opposed to mutual decision making, and such opposition is reasonable
based on the criteria in (c) of this subsection; (c) MUTUAL)) (3) DECISION-MAKING AUTHORITY. Except as
provided in (( (a) and (b) of this subsection)) this section, the
court shall (( consider)) issue an order which will enable each parent
to participate in decision-making in a manner consistent with subsection (5) of
this section considering the following criteria in allocating
(i) The existence of a limitation under RCW 26.09.191; and
history of participation of each parent in decision making in each of the areas
in RCW 26.09.184(4)(a); (iii)
Whether the parents have a demonstrated ability and desire to cooperate with
one another in decision making in each of the areas in RCW 26.09.184(4)(a); and (iv))) The parents' geographic proximity to one another, to
the extent that (( it affects their ability to make timely mutual decisions))
the distance between the parents would make mutual or equal distribution of
(4) RESIDENTIAL PROVISIONS.
The court shall make residential provisions for each child which encourage each
parent to maintain a loving, stable, and nurturing relationship with the child,
consistent with the child's developmental level and the family's social and
economic circumstances. (( The child's residential schedule shall be
consistent with)) Except as provided in subsection (2) of this section,
the court shall issue an order which provides frequent and continuing contact
between the child and both parents consistent with subsection (5) of this
section considering the criteria in RCW 26.09.191. Where the limitations
of RCW 26.09.191 are not dispositive of the child's residential schedule, the
court shall consider the following factors:
The relative strength, nature, and stability of the child's relationship with
each parent, including whether a parent has taken greater responsibility for
performing parenting functions relating to the daily needs of the child))
(a) Which parent is more likely to allow the child frequent and continuing contact with, and encourage affection and respect for, the other parent, or act with appropriate discretion in allowing contact with, and natural affection and respect between, the child and other parent while protecting the child from harm;
(b) The agreements of the parties, provided they were entered into
knowingly and voluntarily;
(c) Each parent's past and potential for future performance of parenting
(d) The emotional needs and developmental level of the child;
(e) The child's relationship with siblings and with other significant
adults, as well as the child's involvement with his or her physical
surroundings, school, or other significant activities; and
(f) The wishes of the parents and the wishes of a child who is
sufficiently mature to express reasoned and independent preferences as to his
or her residential schedule.
(i) shall be given the greatest weight. (b) The
court may order that a child frequently alternate his or her residence between
the households of the parents for brief and substantially equal intervals of
time only if the court finds the following: (i) No
limitation exists under RCW 26.09.191; (ii) (A)
The parties have agreed to such provisions and the agreement was knowingly and
voluntarily entered into; or (B) The
parties have a satisfactory history of cooperation and shared performance of
parenting functions; the parties are available to each other, especially in
geographic proximity, to the extent necessary to ensure their ability to share
performance of the parenting functions; and (iii) The
provisions are in the best interests of the child. (c) One
household shall be designated the child's residence solely for purposes of
jurisdiction, venue, and child support.))
(5) DEVIATION FROM JOINT PARENTING.
(a) The court shall issue an order of joint parenting consistent with the definition in RCW 26.09.004(1) and the provisions of this section, unless:
(i) A parent waives his or her right to provisions of joint parenting; or
(ii) The child who is sufficiently mature to express reasoned and independent preferences is opposed to joint parenting; or
(iii) The parent opposing joint parenting produces clear and convincing evidence that limitations or restrictions to equal parenting are required to protect the child from physical, mental, or emotional harm consistent with RCW 26.09.191.
(b) If the court finds that such limitations or restrictions are necessary, the court shall do so in a manner least restrictive to the best interest of the child and the rights of the child and the parents, as set forth in RCW 26.09.002. If the court finds it is necessary to limit or restrict joint parenting it shall issue written findings of fact and conclusions of law specifying the reasons.
Sec. 5. Section 10, chapter 460, Laws of 1987 and RCW 26.09.191 are each amended to read as follows:
(1) The court shall appropriately consider equal distribution of the areas of decision-making authority as set forth in RCW 26.09.184(4)(a), however, the permanent parenting plan shall not require mutual decision-making or designation of a dispute resolution process other than court action if it is found that a parent has engaged in any of the following conduct: (a) Willful abandonment that continues for an extended period of time or substantial refusal to perform parenting functions; (b) physical, sexual, or emotional abuse of a child; or (c) a history of acts of domestic violence as defined in RCW 26.50.010(1) or an act of domestic violence which rises to the level of a felony.
parent's residential time with the child ((
shall)) may be limited
in a manner consistent with RCW 26.09.187(5) if it is found that the
parent has engaged in any of the following conduct: (a) Willful
abandonment that continues for an extended period of time or substantial
refusal to perform parenting functions; (b) physical, sexual, or emotional
abuse of a child; or (c) a history of acts of domestic violence as defined in
RCW 26.50.010(1) or an act of domestic violence which rises to the level of a
felony, unless the court expressly finds that the probability that the conduct will
recur is so remote that it would not be in the child's best interests to apply
the limitation or unless it is shown not to have had an impact on the child.
The weight given to the existence of a protection order issued under chapter
26.50 RCW as to domestic violence is within the discretion of the court.
(3) A parent's involvement or conduct may have an adverse effect on the child's best interests and bring harm to the child, and the court may preclude or limit any provisions of the parenting plan in a manner consistent with RCW 26.09.187(5), if any of the following factors exist:
(a) A parent's neglect or substantial nonperformance of parenting functions;
(b) A long-term emotional or physical impairment which interferes with the parent's performance of parenting functions as defined in RCW 26.09.004;
(c) A long-term impairment resulting from drug, alcohol, or other substance abuse that interferes with the performance of parenting functions;
(d) The absence or substantial impairment of emotional ties between the parent and the child;
(e) The abusive use of conflict by the parent which creates the danger of serious damage to the child's psychological development;
(f) A parent has withheld from the other parent access to the child for a protracted period without good cause; or
(g) A parent without just cause attempts to interfere with the natural affection, bonding, or respect of a child toward the other parent;
(h) A parent without just cause attempts to debase or nullify the natural parenting role of the other parent; or
(i) Such other factors or conduct as the court expressly finds adverse to the best interests of the child.
(4) In entering a permanent parenting plan, the court shall not draw any presumptions from the provisions of the temporary parenting plan.
Sec. 6. Section 13, chapter 460, Laws of 1987 and RCW 26.09.194 are each amended to read as follows:
(1) A parent seeking a temporary order relating to parenting shall file and serve a proposed temporary parenting plan by motion. The other parent, if contesting the proposed temporary parenting plan, shall file and serve a responsive proposed parenting plan. Either parent may move to have a proposed temporary parenting plan entered as part of a temporary order. The parents may enter an agreed temporary parenting plan at any time as part of a temporary order. The proposed temporary parenting plan may be supported by relevant evidence and shall be accompanied by an affidavit or declaration which shall state at a minimum the following:
, address, and length of residence with the person or persons with
whom the child has lived for the preceding twelve months)) and address
of the affiant;
performance by each parent during the last twelve months of the parenting
functions relating to the daily needs of the child)) The amount of
residential time the affiant is willing to grant the other parent;
(c) The degree to which the affiant is willing to cooperate with the other parent in mutual decision-making, or which areas of decision-making authority listed in RCW 26.09.184(4)(a) the affiant is willing to grant the other parent;
(d) The parents' work and child-care schedules for the preceding twelve months;
(e) The parents' current work and child-care schedules; and
(f) Any of the circumstances set forth in RCW 26.09.191 that are likely
to pose a serious risk to the child and that warrant limitation on the award to
a parent of temporary residence or time with the child pending entry of a
permanent parenting plan, and the affiants proposed restrictions or
limitations protecting the child from harm yet limiting the child's and
parent's rights in the least restrictive manner.
(2) At the hearing, the court shall enter a temporary parenting order consistent with RCW 26.09.187(5) incorporating a temporary parenting plan which includes:
(a) A schedule for the child's time with each parent when appropriate;
of a temporary residence for the child; (c))) Allocation of decision-making authority, if any.
Absent allocation of decision-making authority consistent with RCW (( 26.09.187(2)))
26.09.187(3), neither party shall make any decision for the child other
than those relating to day-to-day or emergency care of the child, which shall
be made by the party who is present with the child;
(c) Provisions for temporary financial support for the child; and
(d) Restraining orders, if applicable, under RCW 26.09.060.
(3) A parent may make a motion for an order to show cause and the court may enter a temporary order, including a temporary parenting plan, upon a showing of necessity.
(4) A parent may move for amendment of a temporary parenting plan, and the court may order amendment to the temporary parenting plan, if the amendment conforms to the limitations of RCW 26.09.191 and is in the best interest of the child, and is consistent with RCW 26.09.187(5).
(5) If a proceeding for dissolution of marriage, legal separation, or declaration of invalidity is dismissed, any temporary order or temporary parenting plan is vacated.
Sec. 7. Section 14, chapter 460, Laws of 1987 and RCW 26.09.197 are each amended to read as follows:
After considering the affidavit required by RCW 26.09.194(1) and other relevant evidence presented, the court shall make a temporary parenting plan that is in the best interest of the child and considers the rights of the child and the parents consistent with RCW 26.09.187(5). In making this determination, the court shall give particular consideration to:
has taken greater responsibility during the last twelve months for
performing parenting functions relating to the daily needs of the child)) is
more likely to allow the child frequent and continuing contact between the
child and the other parent and encourage the child's natural affection and
respect toward the other parent, or act with appropriate discretion in allowing
contact with and natural affection and respect between the child and other
parent while protecting the child from harm; and
(2) Which parenting arrangements will cause the least disruption to the child's emotional stability as described in RCW 26.09.002 while the action is pending.
The court shall also consider the factors used to determine residential provisions in the permanent parenting plan.
Sec. 8. Section 6, chapter 95, Laws of 1984 as amended by section 22, chapter 460, Laws of 1987 and RCW 26.09.255 are each amended to read as follows:
as defined in RCW 9A.40.010, may bring civil action against any other relative
if, with intent to deny access to a child by that relative of the child who has
a right to physical custody of or visitation with the child or a parent ((
whom the child resides pursuant to a parenting plan order)) who has a
right to time with the child under the child's residential schedule, the
relative takes, entices, or conceals the child from that relative. The
plaintiff may be awarded, in addition to any damages awarded by the court, the
reasonable expenses incurred by the plaintiff in locating the child, including,
but not limited to, investigative services and reasonable attorneys' fees.
Sec. 9. Section 26, chapter 157, Laws of 1973 1st ex. sess. as amended by section 19, chapter 460, Laws of 1987 and RCW 26.09.260 are each amended to read as follows:
court shall not modify a prior custody decree or a parenting plan unless it
finds, upon the basis of facts that have arisen since the prior decree or plan
or that were unknown to the court at the time of the prior decree or plan, that
a substantial change has occurred in the circumstances of the child or the
and)) or that the modification is necessary to serve
the best interests of the child. In applying these standards, the court shall
retain the residential schedule established by the decree or parenting plan
(a) The parents agree to the modification;
(b) The existing decree or parenting plan does not provide equal parenting as defined in RCW 26.09.004(1);
(c) The child has been integrated into the family of the petitioner with the consent of the other parent in substantial deviation from the parenting plan; or
(d) The child's present environment is detrimental to the child's
physical, mental, or emotional health and the harm likely to be caused by a
change of environment is outweighed by the advantage of a change to the child.
(2) Motions for modification of a decree or parenting plan regarding residential provisions or decision-making authority shall be accompanied by an affidavit or declaration with the same minimum requirements as directed in RCW 26.09.194(1) (a) through (f). If the nonmoving party wishes to contest the motion a responding affidavit with the same minimum requirements is also required prior to a hearing or trial.
(3) In determining a modification required by the relocation or proposed relocation of one parent the court shall give preference to the wishes of the parent not relocating, the wishes of a child who is sufficiently mature to express reasoned and independent preference as to his or her residential schedule, and the best interests of the child, over the wishes of the relocating parent.
(4) Modifications granted under this section shall be consistent with RCW 26.09.187(5).
(5) If the court finds that a motion to modify a prior decree or parenting plan has been brought in bad faith, the court shall assess the attorney's fees and court costs of the nonmoving parent against the moving party.
Sec. 10. Section 21, chapter 460, Laws of 1987 and RCW 26.09.285 are each amended to read as follows:
the purposes of all other state and federal statutes which require a
designation or determination of ((
custody)) a sole custodian, the
court shall designate in a parenting plan or in a separate order one
parent as the custodian of the child for the sole and stated purpose of
accommodating the specific state or federal statute. However, this
designation shall not affect either parent's rights and responsibilities under
the parenting plan. (( In the absence of such a designation, the parent with
whom the child resides the majority of the time shall be deemed to be the
custodian of the child)) The court shall consider which parent is more
likely to allow the child frequent and continued contact with and encourage
affection and respect for, the other parent or act with appropriate discretion
in allowing contact with, and natural affection and respect between, the child
and other parent while protecting the child from harm and which parent is least
likely to abuse said authority for the purposes of such federal and state
NEW SECTION. Sec. 11. A new section is added to chapter 26.09 RCW to read as follows:
Both natural parents shall obtain or retain legal custody of their minor child unless clear, convincing, and cogent evidence is presented to the court which proves that severing of a parent's right to legal custody is necessary to protect the child from harm.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 12. A new section is added to chapter 26.09 RCW to read as follows:
A parent's right of mobility does not automatically include the right to interfere with the best interest of the child, the child's right to have contact with the other parent, or the rights of the other parent, consistent with this chapter. Unless otherwise provided in the decree or parenting plan neither parent may remove the child for purposes of changing residence or relocating for a protracted period of time to a geographic distance that would substantially affect provisions of the decree or parenting plan, without first obtaining notarized consent from the other parent or a court ordered modification.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 13. A new section is added to chapter 26.09 RCW to read as follows:
It shall be determined in the parenting plan which parent shall claim the tax exemption for each child. The court may consider alternating the tax exemption of the child on an annual basis.
Sec. 14. Section 14, chapter 42, Laws of 1975-'76 2nd ex. sess. as last amended by section 56, chapter 460, Laws of 1987 and RCW 26.26.130 are each amended to read as follows:
(1) The judgment and order of the court determining the existence or nonexistence of the parent and child relationship shall be determinative for all purposes.
(2) If the judgment and order of the court is at variance with the child's birth certificate, the court shall order that an amended birth certificate be issued.
and)), order, and parenting plan shall contain
other appropriate provisions directed to the appropriate parties to the
proceeding, concerning the duty of current and future support, the extent of
any liability for past support furnished to the child if that issue is before
the court, the custody and guardianship of the child, visitation privileges
with the child, if appropriate, residential time, decision-making authority,
parenting rights, the furnishing of bond or other security for the payment
of the judgment, or any other matter in the best interest of the child under
and consistent with chapter 26.09 RCW. The judgment and order may direct
the father to pay the reasonable expenses of the mother's pregnancy and
(4) Support judgment and orders shall be for periodic payments which may vary in amount. The court may limit the father's liability for the past support to the child to the proportion of the expenses already incurred as the court deems just: PROVIDED HOWEVER, That the court shall not limit or affect in any manner the right of nonparties including the state of Washington to seek reimbursement for support and other services previously furnished to the child.
determining the amount to be paid by a parent for support of the child and the
period during which the duty of support is owed, the court shall consider all
relevant facts, including, but not limited to: (a) The
needs of the child; (b) The
standard of living and circumstances of the parents; (c) The
relative financial means of the parents; (d) The earning
ability of the parents; (e) The
need and capacity of the child for education, including higher education; (f) The age
of the child; (g) The
responsibility of the parents for the support of others; and (h) The
value of services contributed by the custodial parent. (6) On the
same basis as provided in chapter 26.09 RCW, the court shall make residential
provisions with regard to minor children of the parties. (7))) Upon the court determining the existence of the
father and child relationship it shall be assumed that the rights and needs of
the child are the same as those of a child of a dissolved marriage and that the
parenting rights and responsibilities of the father are equal to those of the
mother in determining a judgment, order, and parenting plan. A parenting plan
shall be determined under chapter 26.09 RCW. However, if it is found that
there exists an absence or substantial impairment of emotional ties between a
parent and the child consideration may be given to allow an appropriate period
for integration of the child into the family, in consideration of the child's
emotional welfare and best interests.
In any dispute between the natural parents of a child and a person or persons
who have (a) commenced adoption proceedings or who have been granted an order
of adoption, and (b) pursuant to a court order, or placement by the department
of social and health services or by a licensed agency, have had actual custody
of the child for a period of one year or more before court action is commenced
by the natural parent or parents, the court shall consider ((
welfare and interests of the child, including the child's need for situation
stability, in determining the matter of custody, and the parent or person who
is more fit shall have the superior right to custody)) the action under
chapter 26.10 RCW.
Sec. 15. Section 17, chapter 42, Laws of 1975-'76 2nd ex. sess. and RCW 26.26.160 are each amended to read as follows:
has continuing jurisdiction to prospectively modify a judgment and order for
future education and future support, and with respect to matters listed in RCW
26.26.130 (3) and (4), and RCW 26.26.150(2) ((
upon showing a substantial
change of circumstances)) on the same basis as provided in RCW 26.09.260.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 16. If any provision of this act or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the act or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 17. This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and shall take effect immediately.