Fathers Rights in a Washington State Divorce
A lawyer’s perceived preference for certain social or political movements has no impact on the quality of their legal representation or measurable effect on outcome. For that reason, at Weintraub Law Office, we advocate for men and women with equal tenacity based on the individual client’s legal rights and goals. We also, however, recognize that the law, and sometimes judicial decisions, have lagged behind changes in social and economic conditions. We closely monitor changes in case law and trends within the King County and other local county court systems to determine how best to adequately address inequalities in the legal system.
Mens and Fathers Rights in the Family Law Court System
Family courts have traditionally held certain assumptions regarding the role of men and woman on issues like parenting and financial support. Thankfully, many of the more rigid assumptions have been modified and adapted to modern realities, though not to the extent or with the speed some would like. Along with changing social, cultural and economic realities and new understanding of the vital parenting role fathers have, the influence of the Father’s Right movement and concept of “Divorce for Men” have been very influential in helping change the traditional mindset of family law judges and the law itself.
Prior to 2007, for example, the law prohibited joint custody (50/50) residential arrangements unless the parties agreed to it, and focused on which parent performed the majority of parenting functions within the prior 12 months. Today, RCW 26.09.187(3) (b) allows for a shared residential schedule if such provision is in the best interests of the child taking into account certain factors. It is no longer legally disfavored.
Despite these positive changes, we understand men may still face an uphill legal battle against certain traditionally held notions and subtle court biases.