Word from Doc Nyman
have been working with children and families since I received
my degree in clinical psychology at the University of Washington
of the lessons I have learned is that any problem is more
manageable if you have a plan to deal with it. That doesn’t
mean that I think I can solve every problem families present
but I have learned that with a plan I can keep problems from
getting out of control.
one can predict what problems will come up between separated
parents or what problems their children will generate. What
we can do is provide a plan for problem solving if and when
it is needed.
are not only useful for dealing with problems; children develop
more comfortably and more successfully when they know what
is happening and what to expect.
Licensed Psychologist in WA State since 1967.
Licensed Chemical Dependancy
Professional in WA state since 1986.
Born in Everett WA
Graduated Hamilton grade school, Spokane WA
Graduated Stadium High School, Tacoma WA
Honorable Discharge U.S.C.G., Cape May, NJ
BA Whitman College, Walla Walla WA
Ph.D. University of Washington, Seattle WA
Post-doc in Child Clinical, Univ. of Colo. Med. School, Denver
Asst. Prof, University of Washington, Seattle WA
Director of Psychology, Children's Orthopedic Med. Center,
Director of Children's Mental Health, Snohomish MHS, Everett
Independant Practice, Everett WA
Committee to Draft the Parenting Act, Seattle WA
Seattle Indian Health Board, Seattle WA
With Parenting Plans: A Guide for
Divorcing Mothers and Fathers
Now - A New Book by Dr. Barry A. Nyman
consumer friendly guide to constructing and using parenting
plans explains the three elements (Decision Making, Residential Schedule
and Dispute Resolution) and makes practical suggestions for anticipating
and solving problems between separated mothers and fathers. 144
pages including blank forms and illustrations.
The Problem: When parents separate everyone is hurt—mothers,
fathers and children. Before the Parenting Act in Washington
State custody was not only often contentious it was
sometimes Winner-Take-All with the non-winner effectively
losing contact with their child.
on the cover image above to buy your copy now!
though the parents may feel better-off with no contact
from their former spouse this is rarely in the child’s
best interest. The problem faced by the drafting committee
of concerned attorneys and mental health professionals
was to create a law which supported the continuing involvement
of both parents in the child’s life after separation.
The Parenting Act in Washington Sate (1987) addressed
the concerns of mothers, fathers and children by parsing
“custody” into functional elements. How
decisions get made for children is a critical part of
parenting and this act specifies that education, health
care and religious upbringing are decisions that must
be allocated to mother’s, father’s or joint
authority. Other areas of decision making may be added
to these three and similarly allocated.
There is provision in the act for restricting or completely
restraining either parent from contact with the child
when such contact would not be in the child’s
The Residential Schedule tells where the child will
be on every day by taking into account not only the
basic alternation of residence, but also vacations,
holidays and other special occasions.
The Parenting Plan sets forth these elements: Decision
Making Authority, Residential Schedule and Dispute Resolution.
Dispute Resolution is a pre-determined method for resolving
conflict if there should be disagreement about how the
plan is supposed to work.
There is provision for adding other elements to the
plan should individual circumstances or the laws in
local jurisdictions require additional specifications.
Finally, the guide is illustrated with examples of problems
that may arise in actual living with parenting plans
and suggestions for using the plan to lessen the impact
of these problems on children.