It is rare that an article in the mainstream media looks at purported politically incorrect bias in family courts. The article highlights many of the problems fathers may face as they negotiate the family court.
While we have no comment on this particular piece, it would be great to hear your thoughts in the comment section below. As always our focus at Goldberg Jones is to accomplish what we can within the system and provide high quality representation for all our clients.
Read an excerpt from full article below:
One father’s story is particularly poignant. Faced with a false allegation of domestic violence, he was required to jump through years of court appearances, psychological evaluations, and supervised visitation as he fought for custody of his children.
Had he been charged with domestic violence in criminal court, where guilt must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt and the standards of due process are high, this might not have happened. But Jim's fate was decided in a very different venue: family court.
It's a court like no other—a hugely busy and rancorous place where the most personal aspects of people's lives are not only on display, but judged and reshaped in proceedings that often last no longer than 20 minutes. Appointed commissioners, rather than elected judges, make many of the most crucial decisions. And the standard of evidence (known as "preponderance of the evidence") is the lowest allowed by law.
While the fight may not always be easy, as a man, you have legal rights in a divorce. If you are thinking about a divorce, or want your questions answered, give us a call today for a free consultation. 1-800-DIVORCE.
Goldberg Jones is proud to have added another attorney to our Washington office. Natalie Rasmussen is a competitive, strategic litigator who understands that a person going through a divorce or other family law situation needs a dedicated advocate on their side. She has successfully negotiated settlements in numerous domestic relations cases and has extensive experience both in Seattle family law and civil litigation.
"I emphasize strategy and planning in my practice and do not employ a one-size-fits-all ideology to family law," says Natalie. She prides herself on having a well-reasoned and intelligent approach to her cases.
"Behind Natalie's friendly, outgoing demeanor is an attorney who hates to lose," remarks managing attorney, Ken Alan. "She is always extremely well prepared, whether she is negotiating with another attorney, or arguing her case in court."
Natalie graduated cum laude from Seattle University School of Law, where she was the recipient of the Law Trustee's Scholarship. She is member of the Washington State Bar and admitted to practice in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington.
Natalie was an NCAA Division I track and cross-country athlete at the University of Tulsa where she received a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature. Aside from her daily runs, she also enjoys hiking, skiing, boating and generally spending time outdoors.
We are often asked what the chances are of the father getting primary custody in Washington. Even though the laws are neutral on face, you can see from a recent report by research group that the results favor women.
In the 2010 report, there are some interesting findings about parenting plans. First, in general,children are more likely to be in a custody arrangement in which they spend more time with their mothers than their fathers, but about 18% of all the cases are a 50/50 split.
The Washington State Court also asks about risk factors such as domestic violence, child abuse, and chemical dependence and examines how these factors affect residential time. Overall, about 88% of the families have none of these risk factors. (That's interesting by itself!) About 4% of the mothers and 10% of the fathers are identified as having a risk factor. As would be expected, as the number of risk factors increase, the parent without the risks is more likely to have full custody. When a mother has 3+ risk factors 65% of the fathers are likely to have full custody and when fathers have high risk factors (3+), about 75% of the mothers have full custody. In general, fathers were more likely to lose residential time with their children due to risk factors than mothers.
So how were these parenting arrangements decided? Almost 9 out of 10 cases (88%) were decided by the parents themselves. Only 2% were decided by the courts through a trial and another 10% were decided by default. In those cases, decided by the parents themselves, 22% of the parents chose equal time. In the contested and default cases, only 5% of the cases resulted in equal time for both parents.
While it is in many cases an uphill battle to get primary custody as a father, there are actions you can take to improve you chances. If you wife has any of the risk factors, or if you can show that you have had a primary or more equal roll in raising the children, you have a stronger argument.
Goldberg Jones is a local office of Seattle divorce lawyers serving King, Pierce and Snohomish Counties. We focus our representation on husbands and fathers in divorce, child custody, child support and most other Seattle family law matters. Our Seattle divorce attorneys are energetic, knowledgeable and aggressive in protecting mens rights, fathers rights, your rights!
Our Seattle divorce attorneys are focused on achieving a man's rights, YOUR rights, in any case involving Seattle divorce, child support law, divorce law, family law, child custody law, uncontested divorce law, and legal separation law. It can be an unfair world. As a man, you deserve aggressive and effective representation from the Seattle divorce lawyers at Goldberg Jones.
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