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If the court find the other in contempt of the PP provision 4 times. How likely would the court to adapt the new PP?

Seattle, WA |

If the court find the other party in contempt of the provision in the Final Parenting Plan under 4 different incidents and time, how likely the court to adapt to the propose parenting, and what would be the procedure to do so?

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Attorney answers 2


I strongly recommend you consult with and hire an experienced family law attorney if you are seeking a modification to your parenting plan. I will provide some general information as to what the law requires that I hope will be helpful, but it should not substitute for the advice of counsel.

RCW 26.09.260 sets out the factors necessary for a court to modify an existing parenting plan. There are "major" and "minor" modifications. Even minor modifications to a parenting plan (adjustments to the schedule that do not change the primary residence of the children) will require a showing of a substantial change in circumstances. A “major” modification is one that changes the children’s primary residence and primary residential parent, while a “minor” modification will give one parent additional time from what they previously had - but not enough additional time to make them the primary residential parent. Both minor and major modifications require the party seeking the modification to show a substantial change in circumstances has occurred, but only a MAJOR modification requires: a parent to show that a child has either: 1) become integrated into the parent’s home; 2) is at risk of harm in their current environment; or 3) that the other parent has been found in contempt of the parenting plan at least twice in three years. For a MINOR modification you need only show that a change to the schedule is necessary due to a change in the parent’s residence or work schedule, or that the current schedule does not provide “reasonable time” with the children.

Of course, if the parents agree to a modification of their parenting plan, the court will likely modify without these showings so long as the court determines it is in the best interests of the children. However, in your situation since you mentioned possibly four findings of contempt it sounds like an agreement between the parties is unlikely and you should hire an attorney to assist you with your modification. As I noted, two findings of contempt within three years is typically adequate cause for a court to modify a parenting plan.


Modifications of existing parenting plans involve complex legal issues. You should consult with an experienced family law attorney regarding the specific facts of your case. Generally, the courts favor continuity and it is the burden of the parent requesting the modification to show the court that said modification would be in the best interests of the child(ren). If the current parenting plan is being violated consistently to such a degree that there have been 4 contempt findings, you may have a stronger case in favor of modification. Regardless, please consult with a family law attorney prior to initiating legal action to modify the parenting plan. Good luck!