In Washington State, if parents are not married, the issues of a Parenting Plan and Child Support may be decided by a parentage (paternity) action. Other issues in parentage matters include challenging paternity (strict timelines apply), which may include a request for genetic testing. Paternity can be established with two different methods. The first method, is when both parents sign and notarize an Acknowledgement of Paternity form. This usually takes place at the hospital
Non-Parental (Third Party) Custody; Grandparents Rights
Non-parental custody actions are brought when third parties (people other than the actual parents) seek custody of minor children where either both parents are unfit, or where the children have been voluntarily placed with a third party by the parents. Before a non-parental custody case can proceed, a party seeking nonparental custody is required to establish "adequate cause" for the petition. This is often referred to as a "threshold requirement". On January 19, 2017, the
Parenting Plan--Who Speaks for the Child?
In contested family law cases with children, emotions can run high and allegations plentiful if child custody is an issue. When both parents are seeking primary residential placement, or "custody" of the children, there is often no shortage of harmful and hurtful allegations. Serving the best interests of the children becomes excruciatingly difficult for the Court to resolve when the parents are focused upon tearing each other down. As such, when parenting abilities are an
Post-Secondary Educational Support
In Washington State, postsecondary educational support can be ordered to require parents to pay for college for their children. In general, child support obligations end when a child turns eighteen or graduates from high school (whichever occurs later), unless postsecondary educational support is awarded. When determining whether postsecondary support is required of the parents, the first thing to do is to review the final child support order. If the Court has already estab