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John Stocks
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  • My exgf & I were going to get back together. Her daughters dad found out & threatened to take her to court for full custody.

    We originally broke up a few weeks prior becuz she questioned her feelings for him. She asked him to choose between her & his current girlfriend days before we talked about getting back together. He chose his current girlfriend & she came back to ...

    John’s Answer

    You have what appears to be 3 excellent questions -- (1) what can the daughter's father do to get custody away from your girlfriend, (2) what steps can you take to avoid daughter's father from making you look bad or dangerous to be around the daughter, and (3) how to make him go away.

    Answer to #1: Daughter's father can file any action he wants, but that does not mean he will win. I also depends on what court order is currently in place. If your girlfriend has a permanent, final parenting plan (or residential schedule), then the bar is set higher for the daughter's father to overcome to win in court. So, whether he has a case or not "depends" on the factual build-up of the case before and while going to court.

    Answer to #2: Stability in your relationship with your girlfriend and in your life will bode well in court. Take away daughter's father's ability to say bad things about you. For example, it would be better to say that you have a stable job, a good running vehicle, are mentally sound, and that any allegations of suicidal thoughts are fully dealt with by a professional.

    Answer to #3: Daughter's dad will likely never go away, but if he violates any of the "protection statutes", then you could get a court order to keep him away, like a DVPO, or an AHO, or a TRO. This really depends on how strong his rights are under a current court order -- does he have residential time (visitation)? Also, how old is the daughter?

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  • What can I do to get temporary custody of my son due to a investigation on the mom for her youngest child's death .

    I have a temp plan but have had no visitation to my so I just filed contempt on her and the trail hearing date is feb 5 but recently I was informed that her youngest 2 month baby died because of a over dose or suffocation and the mom is under inve...

    John’s Answer

    Before I say - "hire a lawyer" -- I will answer your question. What you can do to get temporary custody is file for an order, any of or combination of: (a) temporary restraining order, (b) protection order, (c) no contact order*, (d) investigation order. If CPS is really investigating this as a criminal case, then the *no contact order may be put in place protecting all children from the mother (i.e., mom may be restrained from having contact with any minors until her criminal charges are resolved). In the meantime, have you gone down to CPS/DSHS and made a records request for all records relating to you or your son? There might be some records there and/or CPS may advise you to "go to court and get a __________." (the fill-in the blank would be some kind of order).

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  • I signed my rights to mom when she filed for full custody 5 yrs ago for my son. I need to know if its not late get Custody back

    I was 16 when I had my son & my mom filed for full custody when he was only 2month. Cause of my age I believe I got scared & taken advantage of to sign my rights away & ever since my mom took all control over my child & been dwelling with my loss ...

    John’s Answer

    If I have the math right, you were 16 when you had a son, and you believe that you signed your rights away back then, but now, you are 21 and your son is 5? If that is all correct, then here is my brief, guarded answer: (1) I would double check whether you really did sign away any rights, (2) I would double check to see if the court appointed a guardian ad litem for both you (under age) and your son, and (3) whether the court actually granted full custody to you.

    I have a lot of questions before answering in more detail, like: (a) where is your son's biological mother, (b) who lets you speak to your son, (c) where does your son (and his grandmother) live?

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  • I missed my pre-trail hearing for full custody of my daughter. Does this mean I won't get full custody? What will happen?

    I have taken all the classes required and didnt know about the court date til my ex told me that i missed it. I was wondering what ill happen since i missed my court date. Our final court date is on the 4th of March.

    John’s Answer

    Missing any court hearing is bad, but not all is lost. A court is not usually going to deprive parents of their rights when they are not there. You have to be worried about a default, which is when one parent says, "I want all these things, including fully custody," and the other parent does not show up. The court can "default" the missing parent and the parent who is there proposing things often gets what he/she wants. To avoid a default, go through a checklist with an attorney. Most everything on the checklist can be resolved so that you can put a [x] check mark as completed and move on. Also, you may want to "set aside" the order that was entered on the day you did not show up, which is a process also known as a CR 60 motion or a Motion to Vacate.

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  • I am trying to find information on how to change my childs last name, from her biological fathers.

    I have a permanent restraining order against him, but I am not able to change her last name without his permission, and I don't know where he is.

    John’s Answer

    You should file a written request with the court to change the name, but if you cannot locate him, ask the court to have a "special master" appointed to sign for the father in the father's spot on the dotted line.

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  • How do I get custody of my niece and nephew. Both parents are drug addicts. The kids have been in dangerous situations.

    My brother has a warrant for his arrest already. And my sister in law will leave the kids with me over the weekend and then go to a drug house and get high all weekend. I know the location of the drug house. If I call and have them arrested, could...

    John’s Answer

    My suggestion is that you consider the timing of the next step. You could step into a minefield depending on the route you take. I have a 7-option plan for resolving your issues depending on your goals. Not all options are the same for anyone. If the facts you have described are proven, you have about 3 legal (court) options, but you also have about four (4) out-of-court options. For example, you could call the police and someone would be arrested, but that does not really help. You could file for a protection order or for non-parental custody. These are things I do in Washington all the time, so check with a local attorney on your State's options.

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  • I have my first contempt hearing coming up what happens when the mother gets held in contempt.

    the mom never came to court even when I filed the temp parenting plan I haven't seen my son since I filed the motion and she changed her number as well as she isn't going to be at the contempt hearing

    John’s Answer

    If this is in the RJC in Kent, then a prediction of your eventual result depends on the facts dating back to when your son was born, who the commissioner is that day, and what relief is ordered. Often, the first hearing results in "nothing exciting" as the person will ask for a continuance and the matter will be re-set 14 days further out. However, if you are successful (the court holds the mother in contempt), then you will want to ask for make-up time and purging conditions, such that the mom remains in contempt unless she does a, b, and c... (for example).

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  • Can I submit a declaration from a witness in a contempt hearing at the actually hearing or does it have to be submitted before?

    Im filing contempt against the mother for not following the parenting plan as well as a modification to the temp parenting plan for full custody do to circumstances concerning the health and care for my child which is in the declaration from the w...

    John’s Answer

    Yes. You can submit a declaration of a witness if it is from someone with personal knowledge, who is over 18, and the person does not go into inadmissible material.

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  • Based on details below, Can I call child services?

    My 10 year child comes over for visits with her clothes either dirty, with a smell, too small, or sometimes without underwear. She has told me on several occasions that she has gone nights without eating dinner and when I pick her for visits, she ...

    John’s Answer

    I would avoid calling Child protective or any social health services unless you want them snooping around in your business and possible investigating your home as well.

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  • For unreasonable ruling, shall I fie "Motion to Vacate" or "Appeal" or take other actions? What is the time limit for either?

    I do not know whether I need a "divorce" or "appeal" attorney and in what time frame.

    John’s Answer

    You need a family law attorney who also has experience in appellate work. Revision, reconsideration, motion to vacate, appeal are all too complicated to define and explain here.

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