A divorce gets increasingly more complicated if there are children involved. For most parents, they want to ensure first and foremost that their children is taken care of throughout the process and that the lives of the little ones are turned upside down. On the other hand, there is always going to be the complicated issue of custody and visitation. One of the most common misconceptions about custody in a divorce is that the mother is almost always guaranteed to get custody of the children, leaving the fathers of the children with extremely limiting visitation schedules. The truth, however, is that this simply isn’t accurate. Continue reading below to understand what you need to know about parental rights and custody in a divorce in Washington state.
Figuring Out Child Custody Arrangements
When it comes to who is most likely to get child custody, it all comes down to one very important piece of language clarified in the state law. According to the Revised Code of Washington, “The court shall determine custody in accordance with the best interests of the child.” Plain and simple, the court will rule for custody in favor of the home in which the child benefits the most from. It does not matter if the mother or the father, whoever promises the best environment for the child to be raised in, is who the court will grant custody to.
Thankfully, over time, the court has began to acknowledge how important it is that a child has a strong relationship with both their mother and their father. This means that even in the case that the mother does get custody, the court is likely to grant more frequently visitation than the typical “every other weekend with dad” setup. This often results in parents splitting custody, something that is happening much more frequently in 2017 than ever before.
What Is Taken Into Account When Child Custody Is Determined
Additionally, the court will take a few other factors into consideration when they are trying to determine which parent should be granted custody. The most important of these factors is what the sort of relationship and bond the child has with each parent. Most of the time, the parent who is closer to the child will get residential custody. The court will also consider the following lower priority issues as well:
- Any agreements that have been made by the parents in regards to custody
- The ability for each parent to perform the parental duties in both the past and in the future. These include providing food and shelter, clothing, education, grooming, and more
- Who can adhere to the emotional needs of the child.
- The relationships the child has with their siblings or other adults in their life
- How much the custody choice will stir up the child’s current life
- The wishes of the parents
- The wishes of the child should he or she be mature enough
- The work schedule of both parents
Get Assistance With Your Washington Divorce
There are plenty of misconceptions about divorce and custody, all of which you should research if you are thinking of getting out of your marriage. On the other hand, if you are currently in the process of trying to determine custody after your divorce, you likely need the help of an attorney who knows what they are doing. The litigators at Pavithran Law Firm will work endlessly to try to get you the custody outcome that you are seeking. Contact us today and allow us to tell you what we can do to begin the process. We look forward to assisting you during this difficult time.