Child custody is an emotional issue – and one that varies considerably from state to state. Before taking advice from a friend, relative, or co-worker regarding your Washington State child custody case, you should familiarize yourself with the most common child custody myths and educate yourself about the child custody laws in your state from a trusted source.
Myth #1: The mother always gets custody of the kids.
While there is some evidence that moms have more often received child custody in the past, it is important to understand that the courts recognize the existence of this bias and that judges work very hard to do what is in the best interest of the child. In the vast majority of cases, this means a joint parenting plan in which both parents spend time with their children and in which both parents have power when it comes to making decisions about their kids.
Myth #2: I’ll get custody because I’m the better parent.
Again, child custody in Washington State isn’t a contest; it’s a process of finding a working solution so that both parents (if able) are able to continue a healthy and meaningful relationship with their children. What some call “sole custody” is rare in Washington, it’s likely that you will both have time with your children and that you will both still be a big part of their lives.
Myth #3: No one with a history of domestic violence or substance abuse will get custody rights.
Washington State realizes how important it is to have ongoing relationships with both parents, and for this reason, it is unlikely that you will have no access to your children even if you have a troubled past (the common exception to this is someone who has been convicted of a sex crime). Those who have struggled with the law in the past may still have options, such as supervised visits, especially if they show they are actively dealing with their problems.
Myth #4: Our child custody arrangement is final.
Your parenting plan is never final – you may ask to have it modified especially if something in your life or your children’s life has changed significantly since the parenting plan was decided. Don’t despair if your parenting plan begins and you don’t feel you have enough time with your children or that the plan won’t work for you in the long term – situations change, people change, circumstances change, and parenting plans change.
Contact Molly Kenny for Child Custody Advice in Bellevue
Getting advice about child custody from somewhere other than a trusted, local legal source can be confusing and inaccurate – you might end up hearing something that’s nothing more than a myth. To speak with an experienced, knowledgeable Bellevue child custody lawyer, call the attorneys at Molly B. Kenny today at 425-460-0550.