If you are a father who is going through a divorce, you may have many concerns that you are already at a disadvantage. Unfortunately, over the years, many families have found that the court system was not favorable to fathers.
But there are also many preconceived notions about how fathers are treated in Washington State family courts, and the impact that a father can have on their divorce proceedings. Here is more about what rights fathers have when they get divorced in Washington.
The Issue with Traditional Family Roles
When a couple gets divorced, many fathers feel as though they are at a disadvantage, and many used to be. In the past, when couples divorced, there were presumed roles that the husbands and wives each fulfilled. The husband may be required to pay alimony to the wife, who would, in turn, retain physical custody of the kids. The father might see his kids every other weekend and pay child support to their mother.
But these “traditional” family rules are becoming few and far between. Instead, families are more focused on ensuring that their children maintain strong relationships with both parents. Unfortunately, there are far too many situations in which the “traditional“ family rules put fathers at a disadvantage during divorce.
If you are a father going through a divorce, it is important that you take steps to protect yourself, and your relationship with your children. Make sure you have a dedicated Washington divorce attorney advocating for your rights.
How Divorce Settlements Work in Washington State
When couples divorce in Washington State, there are specific rules that apply. The biggest points of contention in any divorce in Washington State are the division of marital property and assets, and spousal maintenance.
Your child support and child custody matters are separate from your divorce settlement, although child custody could be a factor in how your marital assets are divided and whether alimony is awarded.
Division of Marital Property and Assets
Washington State is a community property state. This means your marital assets and property should be divided equally in your divorce. In the past, fathers may have been at disadvantage, having to move out of their family home, and provide their wives with half of the marital assets, since they were seen as the breadwinners.
But these days, the court system recognizes that both partners may be financially responsible and caring for their children and families. Instead, The courts will encourage you to work out the division of your marital property and assets with your soon-to-be ex, so you can get your divorce finalized in a more timely manner.
Many fathers are afraid that they are at a disadvantage in their divorce because they believe that they are going to be ordered to pay alimony. But fathers are not necessarily required to pay alimony to their wives in a divorce.
Spousal maintenance is designed to ensure that both spouses are able to maintain their standard of living post-divorce. But unless one spouse was financially reliant on the other, spousal maintenance may not be awarded in your case.
Although you may feel as though you are at a disadvantage, the Washington State family court system recognizes that fathers are just as important to their children’s lives as their mothers are.
Make sure to stand up for your rights when you contact Akiona Law for help protecting yourself in your divorce settlement. Schedule your initial consultation when you fill out our quick contact form. Or, give our office a call at 425-740-2209 to discuss your legal options today.