Are the days of having to prove why you deserve equal custody of your child coming to an end?
Looking through the history of the child custody laws in the state of Washington, you might not think so. Over the years, Washington residents have had several changes to their child custody statutes and no doubt have thought each time…”this is the year we get equal custody.” But this has not been the case yet and none of the child custody law changes have resulted in equal parenting time being ordered when it comes down to a judge deciding.
In 2013, it was revealed through a legislative mandate that if parents didn’t agree to equal custody, they were only likely to receive it approximately 2% of the time from a judge in a contested hearing.
HAVE THINGS ALWAYS BEEN THIS WAY?
Historically, Washington statutes have had language in them that indicate that the state knows that parenting is a right and that the control, custody, and care of the child should be restricted as minimally as possible. However, these policies have not had the effects that Washington legislators apparently have wanted and they are attempting to amend their statutes again.
ANOTHER ATTEMPT TO CORRECT THE DISPARITY IN PARENTING TIME BETWEEN FIT PARENTS.
Washington State this year has a proposed equal parenting custody bill, HB 1554, that changes the language in the RCW Statute to “substantially equal” time to “equal” with the burden on the parent disagreeing with equal parenting plans to prove why it is not in the child’s best interest to have equal time with the other parent.