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Kevin Gregory Byrd
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  • Can I vacate default divorce and children custody order issued 6yrs ago?

    While out of state my ex took advantage of the situation to get default divorce and custody orders. I was never served with any documents from the court. Now, pretty much I don't have any rights with my kids and my ex doesnt allow me to talk or se...

    Kevin’s Answer

    Civil rules in the State of Washington allow a litigant to vacate a default judgment "for good cause shown". Another rule provides specific grounds and time limits which you must prove as a basis for vacating the judgment, order or decree. I would want to see a copy of the proof of service in your case. This question is difficult to answer because of the time which has elapsed since the final Decree was taken. If you wait more than a "reasonable" amount of time following entry of the default judgment, you may be precluded from vacating it simply because you waited too long. I am pessimistic that a Judge would vacate a child custody order after this amount of time has lapsed, without knowing a lot more about what has been going on since then, as well as the circumstances of the case. However, Parenting Plans or child custody orders are always subject to being prospectively modified or adjusted, but again, you must have a factual basis for that request. Your relationship with your children is at stake and it would be well worth your time and money to consult with a family law attorney about your situation.

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