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When the parenting plan doesn't say who picks them up from school what is the default?

Seattle, WA |

Our parenting plan only says the father picks them up from the mothers home by 3:45pm, but there is no bus that drops them off. I pick them up on my days (and his days- but because its a new school we cant humanly make it there until min. 3:55pm depends on seattle traffic downtown) These are his visitation days would it not be his responsibility to get them on his days? we share 50/50. But I am the primary. He has them Wed-Mon morning every other wk, but gets them at my home due to the school.

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Attorney answers 3


There is no default. You have a badly written PP and you need to take action to fix it either by agreement or mediation. If you cannot agree and try to go to court, the Commissioner wll not be happy with you so you should do something to resolve the issue without court action.

Please note that THESE COMMENTS ARE NOT INTENDED AS LEGAL ADVICE and are for informational purposes only. This response is not intended to create any attorney-client relationship and is only based on the limited facts given. The response might change should additional facts be learned and should not be relied on as legal advice. It is recommended that you consult with an attorney who can properly assess the situation, as well as all pertinent facts, prior to taking any action based on the foregoing statements


If the parenting plan states that the father is to "pick [the children] up from the mothers home by 3:45pm", it would seem to me that it would be the mother's responsibility to have the children ready to be picked up at her house by 3:45 PM.

If there is a new school, the parents likely need to work together to change the parenting plan to meet the new reality.

On another hand, some parents are inflexible and are always looking for ways to cause troubles.

You should review the parenting plan carefully to see what its provisions on dispute resolutions are.


No one is required to pick up if the parenting plan is silent on that issue. You may have to file a motion or petition for a minor modification to remedy this defect. It’s always best to consult with a good family law attorney to discuss the details before you act. See my AVVO Legal Guides on parenting plans and visitation for more information about the legal issues raised by your inquiry. Click on my photo. On my AVVO home page click on "View Contributions" or scroll down further and click on "Legal Guides." Scroll down the list of my 29 Legal Guides and select the topics relevant to your question. If you like my answer and Legal Guides, please make sure you mark them as “helpful.”

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