Whether you are new to the state or you have lived in Washington your entire life, you may be wondering how family law differs here from other states. Either that, or you are currently in need of help with a family law issue and have begun doing some research. While the laws that govern family rights and relationships tend to be fairly similar across the United States, there are a few exceptions that make each state stand out. This is most definitely the case in Washington. Below you can discover just a few ways the laws in the Evergreen State are unique.
Domestic partnerships were converted to marriages
When the legalization of same-sex marriages occurred in June of 2014, the state then made all registered domestic partnerships into legal marriages. There was one exception, however. This did not apply to couples that contained one person over the age of 62 at the time the law was passed. This all happened automatically, meaning any couple who qualified would have to get a divorce or legally separate should they decide they no longer wanted to be together.
Child custody doesn’t exactly exist
Washington has been moving away from the practice of granting sole custody to one parent or the other in recent years. The state does its best to ensure the child continues to have a relationship with both parents, with the exception of those parents who have proven to be ill-equipped to take care of their child. This is most common is cases that involve abuse, neglect or other harm to the kid.
The parent with the child will almost always get the house
When it comes to divorce in Washington, the court will always do what they can to take the child’s side (should there be a child). This means they want to disrupt the life of the kid as little as possible, seeing as how traumatic divorce can be all on its own. That being said, the house will almost always be awarded to the parent who lives with the child the most, as to not cause too much change and upheaval.
Annulments do not eliminate legal rights
If your marriage ends and you choose to annul it, you have plenty of rights in Washington state. In the court’s eyes, even marriages that technically never happened warrant some sort of legal action should you so choose. You will have the right to fight for your property as well as for the custody of your child. Therefore, do not stress over the legal implications getting an annulment will have on your rights because the truth is, it will have no effect at all.
If you live in Washington and need the help of an expert family law attorney, call the team at Pavithran Law Offices. We can help you sort out your divorce, legal separation or child custody battle. We have plenty of experience with the specific laws in this state and we can help you become more familiar. Seek our counsel and let us see what we can do for you.