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A parent's conduct may affect their custody and visitation rights

Like parents, courts that hear family law cases want what is best for the children whose lives are affected by the courts' decisions. In Washington, courts attempt to ascertain the child's best interests before they make orders regarding the custody and support of those youths. Many factors including the children's preferences, the parents' availability and any special familial needs will be factored into the decision-making process.

However, certain parent-based issues can have negative impacts on those parents' rights to secure custody and visitation time with their kids. For example, parents who have histories of drug or alcohol dependence may be viewed as unfit to be the primary caretakers of their children. If they have criminal records, allegations of abuse or neglect in their pasts, or other dangerous elements present in their personal lives then they may not be seen as the individuals best suited to meet their children's needs.

Every case that concerns child custody and visitation will be determined based on its own merits and parents who have concerns about these matters should talk to their family law attorneys about their options. Whether they fear losing custody because of a damaging event in their past or have concerns about their children being in the presence of a potentially dangerous co-parent, a parent can always find legal help for their custody and visitation needs.

A child's best interests will guide courts' decisions about important family law matters. Parents can take active roles in advocating for their custody and visitation rights. When damaging information exists in a parent's history, it will likely be considered by a court and factored into the decision of how to assign parental rights to custody and visitation.

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