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RCW 26.09.003

The legislature reaffirms the intent of the current law as expressed in RCW 26.09.002. However, after review, the legislature finds that there are certain components of the existing law which do not support the original legislative intent. In order to better implement the existing legislative intent the legislature finds that incentives for parties to reduce family conflict and additional alternative dispute resolution options can assist in reducing the number of contested trials. Furthermore, the legislature finds that the identification of domestic violence as defined in RCW 26.50.010 and the treatment needs of the parties to dissolutions are necessary to improve outcomes for children. When judicial officers have the discretion to tailor individualized resolutions, the legislative intent expressed in RCW 26.09.002 can more readily be achieved. Judicial officers should have the discretion and flexibility to assess each case based on the merits of the individual cases before them.