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  • I have a Restraining Order against my ex lover. We have a biological daugther raised by me and my husband.

    After 4 years he says he wants visitation rights for her and a paternity test so he can have rights on her. Me and my husband won't allow this. My daughter is inside the R.O. Could he get rights on her if the Judge doesn't extend my R. O. We don't...

    John’s Answer

    If you are in Washington, then you have to skillfully work your way through a mine field of laws, including paternity deadlines, de-facto parent, psychological parent, and new laws about the passage of time. There are times where a GAL (guardian ad litem) suggests establishing parentage of biological father is not in the child's best interests and/or establishing visitation rights is not in the child's best interests. Your husband (either de-facto parent or psychological parent) could have a basis to file his own claim for custody under some current case law now pending in the court of appeals.

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  • Modification of child support payments and visitation....??

    My ex and daughter live in Michigan, and I live in Washington. We have joint legal custody. My ex does not have a job or any other sort of income, besides the support I pay to her each month. She lives with her mom and does not have a job or a car...

    John’s Answer

    I think the type of lawyer who you need to answer this question should be the lawyer in the State where the paperwork is already filed. If she is your ex, then my question would be: "where is the divorce decree located?" If in Michigan, then Michigan law would seem to apply to the issues of custody, relocation, child support modification, and the like.

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  • I was just served with a temp restraining order, an injunction to keep me from taking my child out of state.

    I live in WA state, and have a potential job offer, with possibility to get a free education in GA. I am married, and all of my husbands family lives in GA. I have custody of my son, 8 yrs old, and my ex just served me with an injuction to keep ...

    John’s Answer

    If you have an ex, then you should have a parenting plan (if in Washington). If that is the case, then bring your parenting plan to an attorney's office in your county for review of paragraph 3.14, which should be labeled "RELOCATION." If you do not have a current WA parenting plan, then I would give =written notice that you plan to leave the State because you need to relocate for employment reasons. The confusing part of your question is that you say that you have "kids" (plural), but custody of your son. This can be cleared up in your first attorney-client meeting. Curios - what county are you in, what court signed the parenting plan, and who is the attorney that said he will get full custody if you leave the state? (which is not correct).

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  • Custodial interference

    A divorce granted in Oregon with the custodial parent residing in Washington and the father living in Idaho. On a visitation, refused to return child. Has taken her out of the state of Idaho for a period of time and willfully refused to provide an...

    John’s Answer

    You must seek civil and criminal remedies. Civil - seek to lodge the order in Washington State, in the County where the primary parent lives, then file for contempt of the visitation order. Civil - you can also then establish return of the child through a Writ of Habeaus Corpus. Criminal - in Washington, that is custodial interference and across state lines implicates federal laws. I would call the law enforcement agency in the jurisdiction where child is and where parent is, if different.

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  • Back child support payments statute of limitations. Finding out after 18 years that your daughter is not yours.

    My brother has been divorced for 15 years. He has 3 children and just found out that his last daughter is not his. She was 18 when they took the paternity test. His 2 other children are 23 and 21 and live with him. His ex is still wanting back chi...

    John’s Answer

    This is difficult. I think the easy answer is "yes," he is still obligated to pay child support for all 3 until and unless the Order of Child Support can be modified or terminated.

    Regarding the 18 year old, can he prove who the real father is? If so, I still think he can't bring any civil action. The court is normally not going to relieve an obligor/payor of child support unless there is a substitute obligor/payor to take over, and it is doubtful that you can go backwards. If the children were under 18, I would suggest filing a "Petition to Dis-establish Paternity/Parentage, Determine Parentage and Terminate Child Support", but even then, the court may find the long-term bond does not justify this requested relief and dismiss the lawsuit. So, you can imagine that with a child over 18, the issues becomes more difficult because I predict the court would not even entertain such a Petition because it would be moot.

    I have never seen a lawsuit where someone has sued their ex or the biological father for overpayment of child support. You could call DSHS in Olympia and ask who the prosecuting attorney for child support in your County is to see if they would entertain filing a parentage (i.e., paternity) action against biological father and mother (at this late stage), during which perhaps the State could go back 5 years under the Statute to establish biological father's obligation and therefore, seek to relieve your brother of those 5 years back. However, again, I doubt such a case would survive a motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction or other reasons due to the child's age.

    Side note/query: Does the father want it established that he is not the father of the 18 year old? Does he want her birth certificate to reveal that he is not the father?

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  • I am a single mother of 3 who hasa case pending for domestic criminal assault charges brought by father of oldest son

    there is a custody case pending where i have been granted temp custody of all children,dcfs was involved charges were unfound but state wants to pick up charges can't afford a crimimal atty don't know how to proceed don't wont to settle because If...

    John’s Answer

    Don't plead guilty. Get a lawyer, even if a public defender. A criminal conviction will act as a restriction in your custody case.

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  • What is the process for preparing and filing a parenting plan under WA family law

    what paperwork do I fill out for a parrenting plan in Tacoma WA with a protection order in place against me?

    John’s Answer

    There is a form called "parenting plan" and you can find it under WPF (Washington Pattern Form). Do a search engine research for "WPF Parenting Plan" and you can get a word version of this document.

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  • Divorce in WA state

    Husband will not give wife any access to the money. What is the procedure for the wife to get access to money earned while still married. Wife has moved out of house and is living on inheritance money that will soon run out. Can she go to court a...

    John’s Answer

    Depends on where the money is right now. She can file with the court a request to disburse the money. What if the husband says he does not have any such money? Then, some discovery should be done right away asking him under oath about his finances, etc...

    John Stocks
    Auburn

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  • CA divorce and husband's retirement assets

    I have been married for 18 years and my husband had an affair and is seeking a divorce. He has a retirement account and I understand that I am entitled to half of this asset. How does this work? He will be 59 in July. I am retired and 65.

    John’s Answer

    Under ERISA, you will need to obtain a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (aka "QDRO"). Call his employer and ask for a sample form. You can start collecting your percentage of the community portion of the pension when you reach retirement age.

    John Stocks
    Auburn, WA

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  • Military annulment

    If I file for an annulment in Washington STate from a military spouse, what will that mean in the way of military allotments already received? Would it be better to file for dissolution?

    John’s Answer

    You are normally not entitled to any benefits unless you are a spouse. Invalidity of the marriage (annulment) means were never a spouse and therefore, would not be covered through any military benefits. It is hard to get an annulment in Washington, so that might dictate filing a petition for dissolution. If you want to remain a beneficiary of military benefits, consider filing a Legal Separation, which means that you are still the spouse and can be covered under benefits (such as insurance).

    John Stocks
    Auburn

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