Many divorcing parents come into our office assuming that they either have an advantage or disadvantage in parenting plan issues because of their sex. Fathers often think that the court is going to award the mother more residential time with the children than they receive merely because they are men. Mothers sometimes assume that they won’t have to do much to show what kind of parent they are because the laws favor them in issues of parenting. In reality there is nothing within the parenting plan laws in Washington that favors one gender or the other. In fact, the laws are intentionally drafted to apply to either spouse regardless of gender.
That said, there is a reason why parents come into our office assuming that Washington laws benefit women in parenting issues. Washington laws favor the historical primary caretaker of the children. Although times are changing and fathers are becoming more involved in the lives of their children, in most families the primary caretaker of the children is still the mother. That means in most circumstances it is the mother that ends up being the primary parent.
Regardless of whether we are representing a mother or a father, we prepare to represent our clients regardless of their gender. Parents should know that it is not their gender that predicts the time they will have with their kids after a parenting plan is entered in court. Instead, it is usually based on the role each parent has played in the child’s life.
If you would like to discuss your parenting plan issue with a qualified family law attorney, please contact us today.