Child Custody Ensuring Your Rights, Interests & Well-Being Are Protected

Tacoma Child Custody Lawyer

Protecting Your Child & Parental Rights

For any parent, engaging in a custody battle is nerve-wracking. At Pacific Cascade Family Law, we know how important your children are to you. Whether you want to pursue an amicable resolution out of court or litigate our case, our Tacoma child custody attorneys are here to advocate for you and your child's rights.

Let Us Shoulder the Burden of the Legal Complexities. Schedule Your Free Consultation Today: 253-300-4521.

Types of Child Custody in WA

In Washington child custody cases, there are two types of custody:

  1. Physical custody. If a parent has physical custody, their child can live with them.
  2. Legal custody. If a parent has legal custody, they can make decisions concerning their child's rights, such as the education they receive, the type of healthcare they have, etc.

How legal and physical custody are distributed among parents largely depends on the kind of custody arrangement they have.

Joint Custody Versus Sole Custody

Parents often engage in one of two custody arrangements:

  1. Joint custody. In a joint custody arrangement, both parents often have legal and physical custody of the child (however, this does not mean the parents necessarily split time with their child equally).
  2. Sole custody. In a sole custody arrangement, only one parent has physical custody of the child, although the other parent may still retain some legal custody rights.

During custody arrangement, courts prioritize the child's best interests. As a result, most courts prefer joint custody to sole custody since joint custody gives a child access to both parents on a regular basis.

However, joint custody isn't always appropriate. If a parent lacks the resources to care for a child or circumstances would make joint custody difficult, they may instead gain visitation rights to see their child even if they can't host them.

In other cases, the court may determine that a parent is unfit. Parents who engage in behavior such as substance abuse, criminal activity, abuse, or take other actions that create an unsafe environment may not be able to gain custody of their child.

Parents can handle custody dispute in a couple of different ways:

  • Through an agreement. If the parents agree on terms for a custody arrangement, they can draft a parenting plan detailing those guidelines. If the judge approves of the agreement they'll finalize it.
  • Through litigation. If the parents disagree on terms for a custody arrangement, they can each present a parenting plan to the court. The judge will then examine both parties' cases and issue a parenting plan the court deems equitable, finalizing the case.

Courts consider a wide range of factors during custody cases, including:

  • The age and health of both parents;
  • How capable each parent is of providing for the child;
  • Each parent's history with the child;
  • Whether either parent has a record of abuse or similar actions;
  • The living environment each parent possesses;
  • How a hypothetical custody arrangement would impact the child;
  • Whatever other factors the court considers relevant to the case.

At Pacific Family Law, our Tacoma child custody attorneys stand ready to help you negotiate an equitable custody arrangement. Our conveniently located Tacoma office has free, safe, easy to find parking right off Interstate 5 at the Tacoma Mall Office Building.

Call 253-300-4521 Today to Schedule Your Free Consultation with Our Dedicated Law Firm.

Meet Our Team

Providing Personalized Attention and the Representation You Deserve
  • Lewis  Landerholm Photo
    Lewis Landerholm

    Founding Partner

  • Will M. Jones Photo
    Will M. Jones


  • Jennifer  Joslin Photo
    Jennifer Joslin

    Managing Attorney

  • Triston  Dallas Photo
    Triston Dallas

    Associate Attorney

  • Shawn  Morgan Photo
    Shawn Morgan

    Associate Attorney

  • Pat  Leahy Photo
    Pat Leahy

    Managing Attorney

  • Conor  Buie Photo
    Conor Buie

    Associate Attorney

  • James  Varner Photo
    James Varner

    Associate Attorney

  • Allison  Harper Photo
    Allison Harper


  • Lisette  Santiago Mejia Photo
    Lisette Santiago Mejia


  • Gloria  Ratia Photo
    Gloria Ratia


  • Sarah  Stewart Photo
    Sarah Stewart


  • Dana  Gullaksen Photo
    Dana Gullaksen


  • Katie  Reiter Photo
    Katie Reiter


  • Melanie  Wheeler Photo
    Melanie Wheeler

    Legal Assistant

  • Martha  Nunez-Escalante Photo
    Martha Nunez-Escalante

    Legal Assistant

  • Kari  Landerholm Photo
    Kari Landerholm

    Director, Marketing & Growth

  • Steve  Altishin Photo
    Steve Altishin

    Director, Client Partnerships

  • Elena  Konzelman Photo
    Elena Konzelman

    Marketing Assistant

  • Jennifer  Shields Photo
    Jennifer Shields

    Talent Acquisition Manager

  • Danielle  Crockett Photo
    Danielle Crockett

    Consultation Specialist Lead

  • Holly  Jacobson Photo
    Holly Jacobson

    Consultation Specialist

  • Stacia  Bearden Photo
    Stacia Bearden

    Consultation Specialist

  • Michael  Frost Photo
    Michael Frost

    Consultation Specialist

  • Michael  Jove Photo
    Michael Jove

    Consultation Specialist

  • Rachel  Woleben Photo
    Rachel Woleben

    Firm Administrator

  • Jeremy  Armitage Photo
    Jeremy Armitage

    Associate Manager: Client Services & Finance

  • Maria  Del Rosario Photo
    Maria Del Rosario

    Associate Manager: Client Services & Operations

  • Claudia  Preciado Photo
    Claudia Preciado

    Collections Manager

  • Britni  Huston Photo
    Britni Huston


  • Shantra  Crawford Photo
    Shantra Crawford

    Client Billing Specialist


What Sets Us Apart?

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  • Customer Care Concierge

    You will never be stuck waiting for a receptionist to get off the phone. From the moment you walk through the door, our concierge will ensure that you benefit from the highest level of customer service.

  • Aftercare Program

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  • Client Match Program

    We ensure that each client is matched to the right attorney, the legal advocate who has the right experience and strengths for the client’s case.


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