01 Mar You’ve Been Granted Sole Custody of Your Child: Now What?
As a parent, you know taking care of your child is a lifelong agreement—even after 18 years, they will still come to you for advice and questions. Sometimes, however, taking care of them involves going to court with your ex to establish custody. But what happens after you’ve been granted sole custody of your child? How should you continue to care for their needs? Here is how you can support and care for your child after winning custody, with additional information specific to Washington State.
What Does Sole Custody Mean in the State of Washington?
Sole custody in the state of Washington means one parent will take total legal and physical responsibility and authority to make decisions for their child. The Washington state court system authorizes this privilege, and a judge must approve it. Sole custody could result from a divorce case, stand-alone custody case, or paternity case where one parent is deemed unfit to care for the child.
Keep Up With Your Schedule
Once you gain sole custody, you must remember that you’re responsible for everything your child is involved in. You must keep track of schoolwork, extracurricular activities, babysitters, and more by yourself. This can be tricky to do alone, but as long as you stay organized and keep up with the schedule, most everything should go according to plan. You can always ask for help from family and friends on busier days.
You might think relocating would make your life easier by escaping the situation that caused a sole custody agreement, but this isn’t always the best thing for your child. Your child will have a tough time readjusting and starting over in a new school with new friends. Plus, if you move away from friends and family, you won’t have your support system close by.
Keep Your Lawyer’s Number Handy
You’ve been granted sole custody of your child, but circumstances may arise with your ex that justify a change in the parenting plan and require you to go back to court. Keep your custody attorney’s number handy, so you can call them again if this situation occurs. They’ve worked on your case before and are familiar with the details, making them the best candidate for the job.
Be Civil With Your Ex
Regardless of your custody agreement, you could still involve the other parent in many activities or situations if you feel comfortable doing so. Maintaining a cordial relationship with your ex sets a great example for your child. We understand that all scenarios and relationships are different, so this might not be an option. However, keep this in mind if an amicable relationship with your ex is possible.
The battle isn’t over after being granted sole custody—you need to support your child through this life-changing event. If you’re still working toward sole custody, consider hiring a Washington child-custody attorney through our family law firm, LaCoste Family Law. Contact us to get legal help and guidance for this time in your life.