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Protecting Fathers’ Rights To Child Custody

It is a commonly held belief that when it comes to child custody, the mother always wins. While you could argue that mothers once had the advantage, courts in Washington and elsewhere have taken steps to even the playing field, acknowledging that it is usually best for children to have both parents in their life.

At Akiona Law, PLLC, in Everett, we support that notion. We believe in a father’s right to preserve his relationship with his child after divorce or separation. Our lawyers work as a team to give each one of the fathers we work with the best chance possible of being awarded joint custody and that often means working with your co-parent instead of fighting them. 

What Does The Best Interests Of The Child Mean?

In Washington, the courts base child custody decisions on the best interests of the child. Under state law, the child’s best interests are upheld when their emotional, mental and physical well-being are supported and protected from harm.

In most situations, courts find it to be best for the children involved to have continued relationships with both of their parents. In rare circumstances in which a parent is deemed unfit — due to drug or alcohol addiction, for example — the court may prohibit one parent from seeing the child, or limit their interaction to visitation.

How Are Parenting Plans Determined?

The parenting plan is a crucial element of custody cases. You and your ex must come to an agreement on the terms or else a judge will decide custody for you. That is the last resort; going to trial is stressful, costly and time-consuming. Additionally, a judge does not know your family, so their interpretation of the relationships and parental fitness is what they will use to award custody. But you can skip this process. By working together and coming to an agreement on the parenting plan, you get to decide what is best for your family. We can help you through mediation or collaborative divorce.

The court considers numerous factors when determining or approving a custody arrangement. Some of the factors are:

  • What the children want, if they are old enough to express their opinion
  • Past parental behavior, including whether one parent acted as a primary caregiver during the marriage
  • The parents’ work schedules
  • How well each parent is able to care for the children
  • Where each parent lives
  • The health of both parents and all of the children

Meet Your Team. Schedule An Initial Consultation Today.

In addition to our Everett and Snohomish practice, we represent people in Seattle and King County. When you work with us, you have an entire team of attorneys on your side. We can help explain your rights and advocate for your continued relationship with your children. Call us at 425-740-2209 or submit an online contact form to arrange an initial consultation.