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Spokane Child Custody Attorney

Fighting for child custody is emotional and complicated. A Spokane child custody lawyer from Hodgson Law Office understands what judges look for when awarding custody. We present the facts and legal arguments that protect your rights and guide the court in making child custody arrangements in your child's best interests.
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Our Experienced and Passionate Child Custody Attorneys in Spokane

Hodgson Law Office is a firm of attorneys who focus on family law for families in Spokane, Spokane County, Stevens County, Lincoln County, and Adams County. Child custody encompasses several issues, including:
  • - Where your child lives
  • - Who makes decisions in your child's life
  • - How much time your child spends with each parent
These rights become critically important in divorce and paternity cases where the child deserves to build safe and healthy relationships with both parents, absent any neglect or domestic violence issues.
But in some cases, child custody can save a child from a dangerous environment. We can guide a judge to tailor a solution for your child's physical and legal custody to protect their safety and best interests.

Common Child Custody Issues We Can Help You With

Child custody issues do not just involve awarding physical custody in a divorce. Child custody also pertains to many other situations, including:
  • - Parenting plans and visitation
  • - Enforcement of prior custody orders
  • - Modifying an existing order
  • - Relocations and move-away orders
  • - Emergency or temporary custody
  • - Custody in paternity cases
  • - Domestic violence and child abuse cases
  • - Grandparent custody and visitation
  • - Termination of parental rights
In these cases, a judge must assess the child's living situation and what will serve the best interests of the child. Whether you want a judge to resolve a dispute between you and your ex-spouse or you need to rescue your grandchildren from a dangerous home environment, a family law attorney can help you.

Contact an Experienced Spokane Child Custody Attorney Today!

Child custody disputes require an attorney with experience fighting for families. Contact Hodgson Law Office to discuss how we can help with your custody dispute.
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Types of Child Custody and Arrangements

Custody disputes in Washington state cover several aspects of your child's life, including where they spend their time and who decides the direction of their life. When a judge addresses child custody matters, the court order can include the following types of arrangements:
  • Legal Custody

    Legal custody determines who has the authority to make major life decisions for the child, including:
    • Education
    • Sports and extracurricular activities
    • Filing lawsuits
    • Health care
    • Religion
    In short, legal custody covers all the important decisions related to the child, from signing permission slips to giving instructions to doctors.
  • Physical Custody

    Physical custody relates to the child's living arrangements. Physical custody describes:
    • Where the child lives
    • How much time the child spends with each parent
    • Who can visit the child
    • Where the child spends holidays
    In short, legal custody covers all the important decisions related to the child, from signing permission slips to giving instructions to doctors.
  • Sole Custody

    Physical/legal custody can be awarded to a single parent. When a court awards sole legal custody, the custodial parent has sole decision-making authority. They do not need to consult the other parent. More importantly, the non-custodial parent has no right to have a judge order the custodial parent to listen.
  • Joint Custody

    When the parents share physical and/or legal custody, they have joint custody. Under this arrangement, both parents participate in raising the child. Washington law tends to favor awarding joint custody unless there is some reason joint custody would harm the child's interests.
  • Hybrid Custody

    Hybrid custody covers everything else. Some examples of hybrid custody happen when:
    • A step-parent has loose visitation rights to a step-child
    • An incarcerated, sick, or deployed parent cedes rights to the other parent
    Hybrid custody arrangements are rare, but they can help address unique situations.

Custody Laws in Spokane, WA

Washington's laws give judges broad powers in child custody issues. These powers help judges put children into safe and healthy environments.
If a custody matter comes to a judge through a divorce or paternity proceeding, the judge will have the parties develop a parenting plan.
Sometimes, the parties can work together to reach a mutually agreed upon parenting plan. But often, the parents have very different opinions about the rights and obligations each should have. As a result, each parent might submit a separate proposed parenting plan to the court.
The judge will hold a hearing so each parent's child custody lawyer can present evidence in support of their proposal. Judges also have the authority to interview the child privately if they believe the child's input will help. The judge must sort through these plans and figure out a parenting plan that satisfies the best interests of the child.
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Do You Need a Lawyer for Your Child Custody Case in Spokane?

You can always go to court without an attorney. But unrepresented parties often face an uphill battle, even when they have the facts and law on their side. Because the other parent will probably have a lawyer, you will start out at a disadvantage.
As you prepare for your hearing, you will need legal assistance to know what evidence will help you and how to present it. And when you appear at your hearing, the judge will likely ask questions of you and the other parent. An attorney will help you prepare for these questions and pick up on cues to adjust your arguments to put you in the best position to win.

Schedule a Free Consultation with Spokane Child Custody Attorneys

Going to court without an attorney could jeopardize your future with your child. Contact us to discuss your custody matter and how we can help you and your child.
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What Factors Are Considered When Determining Child Custody in Spokane, WA?

Courts use the "best interests of the child" test when resolving custody matters. Under this test, a judge is not bound to any particular outcome. For example, a judge does not need to pick between the two parents' proposed parenting plans. Instead, the judge must craft an outcome that puts the child's interest ahead of every other consideration.
Under Washington law, the factors judges must consider when determining child custody include:
  • - The child's relationship with each parent
  • - Whether the parents agreed to any particular arrangement
  • - Each parent's history of meeting their parenting responsibilities and whether one parent handled more of the parenting duties than the other
  • - Each parent's ability to parent in the future
  • - The child's emotional needs and developmental level
  • - Where the child can maintain relationships with siblings and adult relatives
  • - Whether the child needs to leave school or familiar surroundings
  • - The parents' wishes
  • - The child's wishes, if they are mature enough to express them
  • - Each parent's employment schedule
In most cases, judges will need to balance factors that favor each parent to reach a fair outcome.

How Do You Create a Parenting Plan in Spokane, WA?

Parents usually develop a proposed parenting plan in consultation with their attorneys. Parenting plans must address several issues, including:
  • - How the parents will make decisions affecting the children
  • - Where the child will live throughout the year, including allocations of any holidays and school breaks
  • - How the parents will resolve disputes without resorting to the courts
The exact content of your parenting plan will depend on your situation.

Why Choose Child Custody Lawyers at Hodgson Law Office?

Lawyers with extensive experience in child custody cases know what judges like to see. By presenting a compelling case, an attorney can even achieve results without ever stepping into court. In many cases, a parent will settle once they realize that they are potentially on the losing side.
But if your dispute does not settle, you need an attorney who can advocate for your rights in court. Child custody cases cover a wide range of factors, and a lawyer must persuade a judge that these all point to your proposed custody arrangement.
Some ways we help our clients include:
  • - Free consultations so you can learn about your custody rights
  • - Two decades of experience handling legal matters involving child custody
  • - A track record of successfully representing parents, grandparents, and others in custody disputes
Contact us for your free consultation to discuss your custody matter.

Call Family Lawyers for Child Custody Battle in Spokane

Securing child custody can give you and your child a relationship together. Contact us for a free consultation to learn about your rights in a custody dispute.
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Reviews from Our Clients

I hired Mark Hodgson for a divorce in Spokane. He was open, friendly, and gave me great advice and counsel. Mark was honest with me about my case and worked hard to resolve all of my issues quickly. He responded to my phone calls and questions every time. He was WONDERFUL in my hearing and got me alimony, child support, and the parenting plan that my children needed. I had two other lawyers before Mark and he is far superior to my previous counsel. He fought hard for me and he knew the law. I would and will recommend him to everyone that i know.
These situations are never easy. Deciding to get a lawyer then choosing one was a very hard decision. I spoke to a few people that have been thru divorce and Mark’s name came up more than once. I went and met with him, his business partners and Casey his assistant. They were all friendly, professional and most importantly for me nonjudgmental. He is very educated on divorce with children and keeps in mind what is best for the kids! He answered my questions and didn’t make me feel belittled as other lawyers did. Thank you Mark Hodgson and team you are all very appreciated!
Called Mark Wednesday the day before Thanksgiving. He got us in that Friday the day after Thanksgiving. We decided to hire him and he made the time to start the process of paperwork that Sunday. It was great he did this so my wife and I didn’t have to miss work and our case was a time sensitive issue. The few times I’ve had to emailed him he seem to get right back to us with answers.
our team

Meet Our Attorneys

Our child custody attorneys have over 20 years of experience practicing family law. They have successfully resolved many child custody cases. They know the laws governing the custody of minor children and provide legal representation to protect your custody rights.

Mark D. Hodgson

I am committed to helping my clients through one of the most difficult times in their lives....
Mark D. Hodgson

Areas We Serve

Our Spokane Child Custody Lawyers Will Fight for You

An experienced attorney often determines the outcome of your case. An attorney who understands the law and how to advocate on behalf of a client can resolve your case quickly and amicably or battle the other party in court. Contact us to find out how we can help you.
* Communication through our website does not establish an attorney-client relationship between you and Hodgson Law Offices
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  • Can I get visitation without getting physical custody?

    Yes, you do not need physical custody to have visitation rights. Judges will generally grant some physical contact with your children as long as you have not been convicted of any crimes like child abuse. For example, if you cannot get custody because of homelessness, you will probably get visitation.

  • How does child custody relate to child support?

    The parent providing the child's primary residence usually receives child support from the other. Thus, if a child lives with the dad on weekdays while they attend school, the mom may pay child support. But child support orders are complex, so you should consult a lawyer to discuss your situation.

  • Do unmarried parents have parental rights?

    Yes, a judge cannot discriminate against a parent because of their marital status. This means a parent can still get custody if the parents were unmarried. It also means a parent can seek custody if they are married to someone besides the child's other parent.

  • Can a judge award custody to someone besides a parent?

    Yes, particularly when the child's home environment is unsafe or unhealthy. In these cases, a judge may determine that awarding custody to someone else serves the child's best interests. For example, if a child's parents are addicted to drugs or alcohol, an aunt, uncle, or grandparent can seek custody.

  • Does Washington family law favor mothers or fathers?

    Washington state law mandates that both parents, regardless of gender, are treated equally in custody disputes. Courts can take into account which parent can provide a more stable and consistent environment, and many judges assume that person to be the mother. As a result, fathers often have an uphill battle.