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Washington Child Custody Questions & Answers
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.
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
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... Read more »

Andrekita Silva
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...
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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
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
PREMIUM
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...
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... Read more »

Vincent J. Bernabei
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
PREMIUM
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
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
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... 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
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... 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
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...
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... Read more »

Marjorie Simmons
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)...
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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... Read more »

Marjorie Simmons
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 »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Child Support for Washington on
Q: Can my husband get custody if his ex wife did not set up child support?

My husband pays $600 a month to his ex wife but there is not child support set up or a parenting plan. In a recent visit his oldest son said that my husbands ex uses the child support money to fund her restaurant and not on the kids. Would that count as parental neglect? His daughter (age 5) did... Read more »

Marjorie Simmons
Marjorie Simmons
answered on Jul 6, 2016

Does your husband have a copy of his dissolution decree? Child support obligations are normally addressed in the decree and its attachments. Child support is reasonably used only for supporting children, from socks and other garments to housing and food. A pattern of expenditure showing otherwise... Read more »

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