Myth # 1

The Mother Will Always Be Awarded Sole Child Custody.

This is FALSE! Under Washington law, gender is not the focus in determining child custody. There are specific statutory requirements that a judge must observe in rendering such a determination. Among the factors a judge will consider are the following:

  • The needs of the child.
  • The preferences of the child regarding child custody.
  • The ability and willingness of each parent to meet the needs of the child.
  • The preferences of each parent regarding child custody.
  • The interaction of the child with the parents, siblings, and grandparents.
  • Evidence of child abuse or domestic abuse.
  • The current and proposed residences for the child.
  • The mental and physical health of each of the parents and the child.
  • Who has been the past primary caregiver of the child.


Arriving at sound child custody decisions will always be a fine art rather than an exact science. Much depends upon the judge’s understanding of the interactions in the family relationships. One of the most important things a judge will look for is the extent to which a contesting partner is willing to put the child’s interests above their own personal “wish list”. The degree to which you children have formed emotional bonds to a given parent will also be a decisive factor for a judge to consider along with the amount of time a prospective custodian might have available to devote to the children’s development.


While some people contend that the courts exhibit a pronounced gender bias in favor of women, and even while some statistics might seem to bear this out, it is NOT a hard and fast truth. Such bias is not written into law. What will make the difference for you is the high level of professional representation required to argue your case articulately, compassionately and in the kind of language to which the courts respond. In our twenty years of experience in dealing with these judges our Seattle child custody attorney team at V. Frietas Law, PLLC has refined this art to assure you of the best possible outcome. Feel free to contact our Seattle child custody attorney team at (206) 320 7362 that we may discuss your case in more detail.


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