First, congratulations at agreeing on everything.
A Property Settlement Agreement, or Separation Contract, is a separate contract: not one of the mandatory court forms. It often includes a lot of boilerplate (revoking wills and powers of attorney, etc.) in addition to including what is agreed about dividing assets and debts, and the terms about spousal maintenance.
There are a couple of reasons people use them instead of including the same wording in their Decree of Dissolution:
I agree that ordinarily you would be allowed to be present, unless:
A. You were going to be a witness in the case, because it's common for the judge to order that any witnesses be sequestered (i.e., excluded from the courtroom except to testify.)
B. The judge felt that you would be openly hostile to the other side, or your presence could be expected to upset the proceedings - not necessarily by what you do, but by the current wife's reaction.
In a motion for temporary orders in your dissolution, I would ask the court to order a parenting evaluation. Then give the parenting evaluator your concerns, including any supporting documents and the names of several individuals who have personal knowledge of your husband and his relationship with your daughter - or lack of it.
The parenting evaluator will then make recommendations to the court (usually followed) about what conditions on the father's residential time would be in your...
1. Yes, you could have all the final legal separation papers signed then, together with an order of default (you have to file a motion for default to get that order.)
2. Correct, the judge will not grant a default if your spouse either shows up or files a response or even makes an appearance.
3. The judge will ask you under oath whether the relief requested in your final orders exceeds that in your petition. The point is that your husband only has formal notice of (i.e., has been served...
I would make the full payment on the 20th. Unless it's a huge amount, it's worth it to avoid any argument down the road and stay out of court.
If maintenance is being paid through the Registry, be sure to notify your caseworker (preferably in writing, and keep a copy) of the remarriage date. It would be prudent to also include a copy of the Decree which contains the language about maintenance terminating upon remarriage.
At trial, the judge will basically let give your own testimony about the relevant issues. It won't need to be in the form of question and answer. When you finish your testimony, the other side's attorney will have an opportunity to cross-examine you with questions you have to answer. Then you will have an opportunity to testify further, in response to the cross-examination. Then the other side's attorney, then you, etc. - until no further followups are needed.
As the primary caregiver, you will have an advantage in the question of custody, but it's not guaranteed.
Your primary concern is how to support yourself and your daughter, when neither parent has income. I would immediately talk to the state's Dept. of Social and Health Services (call the Community Information Line at 211) about signing up for public assistance, food stamps, and maybe getting into Section 8 subsidized housing.
Understand that the State, and any judge, will expect both...
While you said that your husband signed the birth certificate, you didn't indicate whether he also signed the paternity affidavit (usually filled out at the hospital.) If he did, the law presumes that he is the child's father.
The biological father has no rights regarding your son unless and until a court order establishes that he is the father, and specifies any rights. The more time passes, the less likely a court would be willing to disturb the presumption of your husband's paternity,...
Don't rely on phone calls to Child Support Enforcement. Send them requests in writing, and keep a copy. It's hard to ignore the written request.
If OR says WA has to ask for it, ask WA to ask for it, and supply your OR CSE information. You might also send a copy of that correspondence to the OR office, so they know what you are trying to do.
Yes, WA should prevail in a jurisdiction contest with CA.
That's because the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA, enacted in all 50 states) says that a court which has made a ruling in a parenting matter retains exclusive continuing jurisdiction so long as at least one parent continues to live in that state.
That being said, you should be aware that WA could choose to voluntarily relinquish jurisdiction to CA, after the judges talk on the phone (assuming that an...