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Rachel Rolfs

Rachel Rolfs’s Answers

4 total

  • Father is a drug user

    The father of my child abandon us when she was 1 month old. Now back in WA wants custody of daughter. Yet, he tried to hang himself, has been in couseling for drug abuse, and does not pay child support. He always works under the table and says ...

    Rachel’s Answer

    This answer depends on a lot of different factors.
    His name on the birth certificate does not (alone) establish him as the father. In order for him to have legal visitation with the child, he must be established as the father (by acknowledgment that you both may have signed already, or by court action). If he is not established as the legal father, then he technically has no rights, and if he is dangerous, then you can probably refuse to let him see your child. However, if your refusal is not enough to keep him away, then you probably need to start court action to get a parenting plan (which will require that he be established as the legal father), and that parenting plan will set forth what his rights may be. If he is the legal father, then technically he can come and take your daughter and the police won't do anything about it, unless you get a court order requiring him to return her. Unless you have a parenting plan in place, the legal father has the same rights as you do.
    Be careful, and if he gets violent, seek a protection order to protect yourself and your daughter.

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  • Child support in non parental custody cases

    We have a non parental custody case (WA) in which the grandparents are going to have custody of the child. Are the parents both resposible for child support? If so how are the worksheets done?

    Rachel’s Answer

    Generally, both parents are responsible for child support, payable to the non-parental custodians. In non-parental custody cases, the law allows the court to order either or both parents to pay an amount reasonable or necessary for the child's care.
    The court will start with child support worksheets that are based off the parents' incomes. You can view RCW 26.19 and its subsections to see the child support schedule and factors that are considered. The court will consider those factors to determine if a deviation (a figure different from) from the standard calculation (the standard calculation is what the child support worksheets come up with) is proper.

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  • Under WA child custody laws can I get sole legal custody of my child if the biological father is in prison

    I am a single mother and I was wondering if I could get sole legal custody of my child if the father was in prison for life.

    Rachel’s Answer

    Because father is unable to be the primary residential custodian of the child, you would (assuming you are not found to be unfit) be the primary custodian. However, depending on the age of your child and the relationship with the father, the court may order some sort of contact, such as visits or correspondence. Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to terminate the father's parental rights. I do not handle terminations, so am not sure if you need someone else standing by to take over those rights (such as an adoption), but you may want to contact an attorney that handles terminations to check on those options.

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  • WA family, child custody laws, dispute with child protective services, CPS


    Rachel’s Answer

    If your son has been taken by CPS, a dependency action would have been commenced. If the Department/State determined that the accusations were unfounded, the dependency should have been dismissed. You should have been served with dependency documents notifying you of court dates and opportunity to respond. In a dependency action, you have the right to an attorney if you cannot afford to pay for one on your own. If you have not been served with any dependency paperwork, you need to contact CPS and find out the status. They cannot hold your child for this long without a shelter care hearing. I hope that helps.

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