Magic of Storytelling Book Drop Off

Magic of Storytelling Partnership

A recent national study showed that almost two-thirds of fourth graders read at or below a basic level. It’s an alarming statistic, and those unable to improve their literacy in the coming years face a future of immense struggle.

Twyford Law Office is proud of its role in positively impacting that future for children around Inland Washington through its sponsorship of the Magic of Storytelling. A partnership between Disney|ABC and First Book, the Magic of Storytelling aims to put 1 million books into the hands of students nationwide.

Book Donation Day

Locally, we joined with KXLY-TV and other corporate champions to donate 15,000 books to 27 schools around Spokane in early May. Educators in these schools can choose which students receive books to help them build out their home libraries, allowing students most in need of support to continue reading during the summer. This opportunity can help mitigate the “summer reading loss” than can set them even further behind their grade level.

It was a joy to see the children react to the delivery of these books, and we know the opportunity to read something fresh and new will only whet their appetite for more. Participating in the Magic of Storytelling is just one more way Twyford Law Office strives to make the Greater Spokane Valley a richer place to live, work, play and learn. We look forward to another book delivery visit to Shiloh Hills Elementary School on June 2.

If you would like to become more involved in the community, we encourage you to connect with the Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce. Twyford Law Office is a chamber member.

Spokane Windstorms May Interfere with Parenting Plans

Spokane family law attorneys understand that inclement weather can cause problems for parents who are trying to comply with a parenting plan. That concern is particularly pressing as windstorms, snow, falling temperatures, and major power outages cause problems for divorced couples whose holiday plans with their children might be disrupted.

Noncompliance with parenting plans

Parenting plans specify when the children will be with each parent. Suppose the plan states that the father should have the children from 6:00 p.m. Friday until 6:00 p.m. Sunday. If the father is responsible for transporting the children to their mother before 6:00 p.m. Sunday, he may in contempt of court if he fails to do so.

Parents typically get in trouble when they deliberately violate court orders. If the father decides that the parenting plan is unfair and that he should keep the kids until Monday morning, he will be risking contempt sanctions by intentionally disobeying the court’s order. The better course of action is to ask a family law attorney whether grounds exist to modify the parenting plan.

A different situation exists when a parent, attempting to cope with Spokane’s windstorms, snow, and loss of power, is simply unable to return the children on time. An unintentional violation of a parenting order cannot be punished as a contempt of court. The problem that faces the court, however, is deciding whether a violation is intentional or unintentional.

Let the other parent know

Every parent who is subject to a parenting order should make his or her best effort to obey it. No judge is happy when someone deliberately disobeys the judge’s order. Following the order is the only way to be sure that you won’t learn what an unhappy judge will do in response to your violation of the judge’s order.

When an emergency, like a blizzard or a power outage, makes it impossible to obey the order, using common sense can help you make wise decisions. As soon as you know that you will be unable to comply with a parenting order through no fault of your own, notify the other parent. Even if you do not want to talk to the other parent, you should make every effort to do so. It may be tempting to say “I couldn’t call because my cellphone battery died and I couldn’t charge it,” but you are setting yourself up for trouble if you do not borrow someone else’s phone to make the call.

If the other parent is reasonable, you will be able to work out an alternative that takes into account the weather or any other emergency that prevents you from obeying the parenting order. If the other parent is unreasonable, notifying the other parent of the problem at least shows the court that you making a reasonable effort to work out a solution. Be sure to get legal advice, however, if the other parent accuses you of being in contempt of court.



The materials available on this website are for informational purposes only and are not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact an attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. This article does not create any attorney-client relationship.

How Much Time Do Children Spend with Each of their Divorced Parents?

Parents making child custody decisions during a divorce in Spokane and other Washington communities may be interested in the most recent report of the Washington State Center for Court Research (WSCCR) concerning the way Parenting Plans allocate time between parents. A Parenting Plan is a court order that determines which parent a child will live with, how much time the child will spend with the other parent, whether one or both parents will make significant decisions about the child’s life, and how disputes about those decisions will be resolved.

Parenting Plans and Residential Schedules

With the help of their Washington family law attorneys, most parents who need a Parenting Plan come to an agreement about its terms. The court will typically approve any reasonable Parenting Plan that the parents propose. When parents cannot reach an agreement, the court will make an order that it deems to be in the child’s best interests. It makes that decision after considering evidence presented by the lawyers for each parent (and, in some cases, by a court-appointed lawyer for the child).

The standard parenting plan form includes a “residential schedule” that specifies where the children will live on each day of the year, including birthdays, holidays, and vacations. A Washington law requires “parties to dissolution matters” to file a “residential time summary report” with the clerk of court. “Dissolution matters” are court proceedings to end a marriage or a domestic partnership. The residential time summary report summarizes the contents of the residential schedule, including the amount of time the child will spend with each parent.

WSCCR Findings

The WSCCR’s most recent analysis of residential time summary reports included the following findings:

  • About one-half of one percent of the residential time summary reports were filed by same sex couples.
  • The average report covered 1.5 children (a statistic that might be skewed by the fact that parents must file separate reports for children who are on different residential schedules).
  • In nearly two-thirds of the reports, children were scheduled to spend more time with the mother than the father.
  • In approximately 19% of the reports, children were scheduled to spend equal time with the mother and the father.
  • As you would expect, parents with risk factors that might affect their parenting ability were typically scheduled to have less time with their children than the other parent. Chemical dependency was the most common risk factor, followed by domestic violence.
  • When one parent had an attorney and the other did not, the parent with an attorney received more time with the children than the unrepresented parent.

Perhaps the most telling statistic is the last one. When a dispute exists about how much time a child should spend with each parent, representation by a Washington family law attorney makes a difference.


The materials available on this website are for informational purposes only and are not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact an attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. This article does not create any attorney-client relationship.