Family Law: Study of Parenting Act in Washington

In response to criticisms of the Washington State Parenting Act, in early 1998 the Washington State Supreme Court Gender and Justice Commission and the Domestic Relations Commission commissioned a study of the Act.

The overarching goal of this study was to gather information about how parents seeking a dissolution of marriage make arrangements for parenting, and how those arrangements actually work after the marriage is dissolved.

This extensive study (several hundred pages of text), often called the “Lye Report” after its author, Diane Lye, Ph.D., was released at the end of 1999. It is available in its entirely on the Internet at Washington Courts

The study has four main components:

  • what parents say about the Act
  • what professionals such as judges and GALs say about the Act
  • what the court records show about how the Act is being used
  • what parenting experts say about post-decree parenting and child well-being

It contains extensive research summaries and a detailed bibliography. Dr. Lye’s qualifications are summarized at the link above as well. Some of the expert findings are most surprising.

The report is recommended reading for anyone interested in parenting in Washington state after divorce or other breakup.