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Washington Child Custody Questions & Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Washington on

Q: Is there anything I can do if my children's mother keeps telling my kids lies and things they do not need to hear?

For instance:

- My children told me that their mom isn't working anymore, but that she told them not to tell me or else I would try to take them away from her.

- She told my children that I didn't want to share Easter with her (which is the opposite) and that I wasn't coming to get... Read more »

Elizabeth A. Arwood answered on May 7, 2019

As your question indicates, it is not in a child's best interest to discuss the Court case with children, involve them in parenting decisions, or disparage the other parent to the children. Your remedies regarding this situation depend on a lot of contingencies, such as if you already have a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Washington on

Q: My spouse and I are going thru custody case.I learned child has missed 12 days-47 tardy. Is this neglect?

We are both petitioning for full custody.

Elizabeth A. Arwood answered on May 7, 2019

It's difficult to answer this without more information regarding the cause of the absences. Neglect in Washington is defined as negligent treatment or maltreatment of a child by any person under circumstances which indicate that the child's health, welfare, and safety is harmed. In Washington,... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Adoption, Child Custody and Child Support for Washington on

Q: Nephew is 18 & in HS, been living w/me for 6 mos. His Dad won't give up being the custodial. How do I become custodial?

Yes he is 18 but he is still in high school & his dad claims he is the custodial until my nephew graduates.

Vincent J. Bernabei answered on Apr 11, 2019

You don't. Your nephew is an adult.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Child Support and Divorce for Washington on

Q: What documents will i need to take to the court house to start the divorce process

Hello, I am trying to file for a divorce in Washington state, I am trying to do this on my own, i was wondering what documents I would need. I have the summons, Petition for Divorce and Agreement to Join Petition (Joinder) documents that my ex signed already. I am trying to expiate the beginning... Read more »

Ali Shahrestani, Esq. answered on Jan 10, 2019

Have you researched the process at your local law library and online via the WA state court's website? Those are great places to start when representing yourself in a divorce and seeking forms and guidance. Have you considered limited scope representation as a more affordable way to hire a lawyer... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Child Support and Civil Rights for Washington on

Q: How do I get power of attorney back after signing it to my mom

Ali Shahrestani, Esq. answered on Jan 10, 2019

Have a lawyer review the Power of Attorney document you signed to determine how to properly rescind that POA. More details are necessary to provide a professional analysis of your issue. The best first step is an Initial Consultation with an Attorney such as myself. You can read more about me, my... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Washington on

Q: Is falsified court documents illegal?

I was served with contempt. But the additional relief that was stated in the documents I was served with were not in the court papers filed with the court

Ali Shahrestani, Esq. answered on Dec 26, 2018

You may be able to object to service of process if you were not served a full copy of the filed documents, at which point you may need to be re-served. More details are necessary to provide a professional analysis of your issue. The best first step is an Initial Consultation with an Attorney such... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Child Custody and Domestic Violence for Washington on

Q: Is it possible to lose sole custody of my son if I am a student, not currently working?

Husband is emotionally abusive and has been physical 2 times with me. He is terrible to my dog (hits him, threw him once). I’ve grown to hate him, and during one incident I feared for the safety of my son (emotional well-being too)

Ali Shahrestani, Esq. answered on Dec 26, 2018

You might be able to seek a restraining order, child custody, child support, spousal support, and attorney's fees, depending on the facts. You can report domestic violence to the police. More details are necessary to provide a professional analysis of your issue. The best first step is an Initial... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Washington on

Q: If a child (age 14) wants to live with the other parent (whom has Legal custody) can the child do so.

Said child is living with father and wants to live with mom cause father is an alcoholic and she is afraid of him. Father has been in jail for this. Mom wants child but is also afraid of father. He threatens her.

Ali Shahrestani, Esq. answered on Dec 26, 2018

It sounds like it may be time to file a request for a modification of child custody and to call child protective services, if not also the police. More details are necessary to provide a professional analysis of your issue. The best first step is an Initial Consultation with an Attorney such as... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Washington on

Q: What forms do I need to fill out and what process do I need to go through to gain guardianship of my 10 year old son?

I have had my son here with me since June 16th. He was only supposed to be with me until July 5th but his mom asked me to keep him longer as their home situation has changed and she had no where for them to live. She is currently homeless and staying with family. At this time it is getting closer... Read more »

Vincent J. Bernabei answered on Aug 7, 2018

If this is your son, you need a custody order. If there is already a custody order in a custody or divorce decree, then you should file a petition to modify the custody order. Usually, that has to be done in the same court that entered the custody order. If there is no prior custody order, then... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Family Law, Child Custody and Child Support for Washington on

Q: My girlfriend is having issues with her ex to pay his half stated in the parenting plan of child care.

Her ex when she let's him know he's suppose to pay half of child care tells her to take him to court what are he options since she can't afford an attorney and the parenting plan is 5 yrs old and his montly payment is $500 for three children. How should she go about taking care of this to ensure he... Read more »

Andrekita Silva answered on Apr 2, 2018

She can contact DCS (Division of Child Support) and ask that they collect for her. Although all past due child support bears interest, they will not collect that for her. It can take DCS a long time but they will do this for her at no charge.

If EX has a job, she should consider hiring a...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Washington on

Q: I live in Washington State. My 17 year old step-daughter wants to live with her father. Do we have to go court for

custody?

Andrekita Silva answered on Apr 2, 2018

As I understand it, your husband is the non primary parent and the 17 year lives with Mom. Now 17 year old wants to live with you and your husband?

If you can reach an agreement with Mother/ primary parent to modify the parenting plan by agreement, then stepdaughter can live with you...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Child Support for Washington on

Q: My child’s father recently moved to California, me and the child live in Washington, we don’t have a parenting plan...

The father doesn’t pay child support, he doesn’t help out with finances or essentials, he told me the day of that he was moving to a different state. He is always bugging me about talking to her on the phone, can I get in trouble for not letting them talk? Do I have to have contact with him?

Marc Andrew Moses answered on Mar 30, 2018

I wouldn't wait to see if you are going to get in trouble for not allowing your child to talk to the other parent. There may be reasons to do so, but I would rather see you present the issue to the court and get a judge to issue an order.

If the child resides in Washington, you can...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Adoption, Family Law and Child Custody for Washington on

Q: How does my new husband adopt my daughter? What do we need to do?

Her biological dad has not been in the picture since she was 3 or 4. She is now 9 years old. I live in Vancouver WA. We are recently married and had decided to wait tell we we're married to have him adopt her we thought it would be easier. We want to have her adopted and she would like to take his... Read more »

Vincent J. Bernabei answered on Mar 28, 2018

You and your spouse should contact an attorney to initiate an adoption proceeding in Clark County Superior Court. Before doing so, I recommend that you have the birth father sign a consent to the adoption. You can complete the adoption and name change in the same proceeding.

2 Answers | Asked in Child Custody and Divorce for Washington on

Q: My friend is going to be filing a divorce online with his wife who lives in Washington. It is uncontested. Verbiage?

His question is based on the verbage he needs to use. The wife has full custody of the daughter and he wants visitation rights. If he puts that he wants visitation without using the word custody for himself will that work? He doesn’t want to lose his daughter. Or does he need to be required to... Read more »

Regina Irene Edwards answered on Jan 24, 2018

This is not something he is going to want to do without an attorney. When your car is broken, you take it to a mechanic, not get on youtube and try to figure it out yourself. One simple error can cost thousands to fix. He needs to do it right the first time and hire and experienced attorney to... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Washington on

Q: i live in washington and my ex husband has custody of our children and they live in oregon...how do i appeal the custody

would i have to go through oregon to appeal the custody order or can i do it through washington?

Vincent J. Bernabei answered on Oct 11, 2017

Once a court makes a custody determination, that court has exclusive, continuing jurisdiction to make all future custody decisions regarding the same children. The only exception is if the children and both parents no longer reside in that state. You will therefore have to file your modification... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Washington on

Q: Can my son's ex-wife get custody of his daughter, even thought she is not her mother,if something happens to him?

If so, how can he guaranty that his mother gets her and not the ex-step mother? They have been divorced for over three years and the step mother has no rights to her for visits or anything else.

Vincent J. Bernabei answered on Sep 5, 2017

If your son's ex-wife has had no contact with the child for more than three years, it is highly unlikely that the court would award her custody of the child. If your son dies, the child's mother, as the surviving biological parent, would have a preference in obtaining legal custody. If the bio... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Estate Planning for Washington on

Q: How can I make sure that if I die that my husband will have custody of my children?

They are not biologically his. But he has been their "dad" their whole lives. Power of attorney work?

Vincent J. Bernabei answered on Dec 2, 2016

The power of attorney ceases to be effective upon your death, so that won't work. The foolproof way is to have your spouse adopt the children. If that is not possible, you should designate your spouse as the children's guardian in your will, and express your preference that they continue to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Washington on

Q: Need to prepare for court hearing concerning a new parenting plan to get my son back full custody.

The story is long here, but short version is I have a court hearing coming up and need to get my five-year-old back with me full custody. He is much better off with me, better living conditions, with his friends and neighborhood he grew up with. If someone thinks they can help me then I will give... Read more »

Marjorie Simmons answered on Sep 13, 2016

You can start or continue learning about parenting plans at http://www.washingtonlawhelp.org/issues/family-law/parenting-plans-residential-time

In King county you can call 211 to reach the Northwest Justice Project where you may find additional help. Visit the court's website to determine...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Washington on

Q: Have 1.5 weeks to get ready for a hearing to get my son back, FULL custody. How can I be prepared to win this case?

My son is 5 years old and his mother suddenly moved him, her and her daughter's belongings out of our apartment that we shared for 6 years. She did this right in front of the children, very upsetting to them and me. She took my son away and refused to let me see him for the most part. I contacted... Read more »

Marjorie Simmons answered on Sep 13, 2016

What a difficult situation for you. Each county has some kind of legal aid program, one that organizes for others in the state is the Northwest Justice Project (https://nwjustice.org/). You can call their CLEAR Hotline at 1-888-201-1014

(M-F 9:15 am to 12:15 pm) to see if pro bono (free)...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Juvenile Law for Washington on

Q: I want to be emancipated but don't know if my case is strong enough?

I want to enlist for emancipation but I want to know if my case is strong enough to be granted. My mother is married to my step father and they have 3 kids and I'm extremely unhappy and put down by them. Im emotionally absuised and I don't want to be in this house anymore. I have my own car that I... Read more »

Marjorie Simmons answered on Jul 6, 2016

You can find some information about emancipation at http://www.washingtonlawhelp.org/search?q=emancipation. Consider your situation carefully, as you don't want to get caught up in a child protective services situation. Sometimes when we are pretty grown up but not yet of age, we can feel so... Read more »

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