Bar Bulletin

Bar Bulletin

Structuring Parenting Plans to Address Dual Diagnoses

June 2020 Bar Bulletin

By Megan Stanley

While there is an overall trend in the court adopting equal parenting schedules, there remain cases in which a parent struggles with RCW 26.09.191 restrictions that require the court to carefully consider limitations necessary to protect the children’s best interests. Among the most difficult cases, are those in which a parent suffers from dual diagnoses.

Dual diagnosis is a term used when a person suffers from interrelated mental health and substance abuse problems. One of the most frequently correlated diagnoses are bi-polar disorder and addiction. Individuals with co-occurring conditions attempt to level out their emotional state with drugs or alcohol.

According to a...

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