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Paul Lanan Battan

Paul Battan’s Answers

47 total

  • If a parent opens their 17 year olds mail from their 23 yr old brother whom lives out of State

    and does not give the 17 year old the mail is this illegal to tamper with a 17 year old's mail?

    Paul’s Answer

    That is an interesting question and the answer is not clear.

    There are a set of laws in RCW 9.73 which is entitled "Violating Right of Privacy." One of the statues in that section addresses mail and has been the law since 1909:

    RCW 9.73.020 Opening sealed letter.

    Every person who shall willfully open or read, or cause to be opened or read, any sealed message, letter or telegram intended for another person, or publish the whole or any portion of such a message, letter or telegram, knowing it to have been opened or read without authority, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

    A key question is whether the person who opens the mail of another has authority to do so. A parent might argue that the parent has such authority simply by virtue of being the parent. That might be true. Parents have authority to take actions that affect their children that could not be taken with an adult, including not deferring to their right to privacy.

    In the contact of a family dispute would this statute be enforced, and would someone who allegedly violated it as you describe, be prosecuted? Probably not.

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  • For a motion for revision I know it has to be turned in by 10 days and it has. When do I have to get the Motion to the other

    party by and do they get a chance to respond and if so how many days prior to revision and do I get a final response? Is it same guidelines as regular motion?

    Paul’s Answer

    Attached is a link to an instruction sheet provided by the court for motions to revise in Thurston County. This will answer your questions.

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  • How much does a GAL cost. Who pays for it, is it from the court or do we? If we do can one parent be made


    Paul’s Answer

    Attached is the current GAL registry for Thurston County family law cases. There are attorneys and mental health professionals on the list. Their fees and retainer are stated on the list. The presumption is that the retainer will be enough for the case, but they frequently cost more because of additional work. The judicial officer who appoints the GAL will allocate the fees between the parties, usually in proportion to the parties' incomes and ability to pay. It would be rare that one parent would be responsible for the entire fee, though one party may offer to advance the fee subject to later reimbursement. There is a county GAL available for a limited number of cases. This GAL is paid on a contract at public expenses, but is appointed only in cases where the parties have little or no income or resources.

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  • I live in Washington and my husband lives in California, Can I file here in Washington for a uncontested divorce?

    We have been separated for 10 yrs. we have no property , no back accounts, no spousal or child support. Would like it to be easy as possible. I have lived in Washington for 1 year. Thank you

    Paul’s Answer

    Yes, you can file in Washington because you are a resident of Washington. You will find this reference in the first paragraph of RCW 26.09.030, a copy of which is attached.

    If other issues were involved and if your spouse had no contact with Washington, and if your spouse would not consent to Washington jurisdiction, there would be an issue with the court's jurisdiction over your spouse and those other issues. But if there is nothing at issue other than the status of your marriage, which is what you are describing, the Washington courts have jurisdiction to dissolve the marriage.

    Good luck.

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  • What are the laws in Washington in regard to obtaining child support if the parties are legally married but living separate?

    There was never any legal separation. Can a parent obtain child support on the other parent if still legally married? My ex got child support out on me in 2004 and we were not divorced until 2006, but I had to pay. Why if we were not separated or ...

    Paul’s Answer

    The answer to your question is yes, a primary parent can obtain child support from the other parent if the parents are still legally married, but living apart. This is what the child support enforcement statute says about support and marital status:

    RCW 26.18.030

    (1) The remedies provided in this chapter are in addition to, and not in substitution for, any other remedies provided by law.

    (2) This chapter applies to any dependent child, whether born before or after June 7, 1984, and regardless of the past or current marital status or domestic partnership status of the parents, and to a spouse or former spouse or domestic partner or former domestic partner.

    (3) This chapter shall be liberally construed to assure that all dependent children are adequately supported.

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  • Can I send a petition and summons to modify child support via certified mail or only through

    a process server? He has an attorney. Would I send it to both him and the attorney?

    Paul’s Answer

    Service can be personal service or by certified mail if the petition is to modify a Washington order of child support. If he has an attorney, it would be best to send it to the attorney, too, but regular mail is sufficient.

    RCW 26.09.125(2)(a) addresses service of a petition to modify. It says: "The petitioner shall serve upon the other party the summons, a copy of the petition, and the worksheets in the form prescribed by the administrator for the courts. If the modification proceeding is the first action filed in this state, service shall be made by personal service. If the decree to be modified was entered in this state, service shall be by personal service or by any form of mail requiring a return receipt. Proof of service shall be filed with the court."

    Two of the statutes that address Washington child support modifications are linked below.

    Good luck.

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  • Tax returns and supporting documents required annually under 3.16 of child support order. Does that include spouse's info?

    Under the periodic adjustment portion of child support order, the non-custodial parent and I are required to share our tax returns and supporting documents annually (his income is imputed since he was unemployed). He only provides the 2 pages of h...

    Paul’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    What you want is reasonable and consistent with the law. This is, in part, what the Washington child support statute says about financial disclosure:

    RCW 26.19.071 Standards for determination of income.

    (1) Consideration of all income. All income and resources of each parent's household shall be disclosed and considered by the court when the court determines the child support obligation of each parent. Only the income of the parents of the children whose support is at issue shall be calculated for purposes of calculating the basic support obligation. Income and resources of any other person shall not be included in calculating the basic support obligation.

    (2) Verification of income. Tax returns for the preceding two years and current paystubs shall be provided to verify income and deductions. Other sufficient verification shall be required for income and deductions which do not appear on tax returns or paystubs.

    In addition to this statute, there may be local court rules in your county that require this disclosure. There are in Thurston County.

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  • How do we go about adoption?

    I have a 3 year old son. We live in Washington state and my fiance and I are getting married in a few days. he would love to adopt my son and we are wanting to change my son's last name to my fiance's. The biological father is in NV, has no rights...

    Paul’s Answer

    Adoption is a two step process. The first step is terminating the existing parent-child relationship (in your case, the father-child relationship) to free the child for adoption. The second step is the adoption itself which creates a new parent child relationship. If the first step is agree, the adoption can be relatively simple. If the biological father will not consent to the adoption, it can be much more difficult.

    The Thurston County Superior Court Clerk's Office has created a form packet for adoptive parents to use to prepare their own step parent adoption paperwork. Attached is a link to a description of that form packet. You would need to purchase it in person at the Family and Juvenile Court. It is not available on-line. You could give that a try.

    If it seems too complicated, and it can, you should hire an attorney to help. An federal adoption tax credit is available that may provide a tax credit to you for the attorney's fees and costs. A link to the IRS FAQ page about that tax credit is attached.

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  • I have two little children never married their father Do I need a lawyer to get child support and 1/2 of daycare? thank you.

    Two Children 2yrs and 18 months, I have a job full time, and their father works full time. We never married. I just need child support and help with daycare. I'm trying to do this fair for both of us, not sure if I need to hire a lawyer or I ca...

    Paul’s Answer

    No, you do not need a lawyer. You can ask Washington DSHS child support services to establish an administrative order of child support. Their website is linked below.

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  • In the state of washington, is the inheritence community property to be divided in a divorce?

    family member left monies in inheritence, is it considered community property also

    Paul’s Answer

    In Washington state, an inheritance that is received during marriage is separate property if it has not been so co-mingled with other property that it can no longer be identified. In a divorce, all property, separate and community, is identified and allocated between the parties. Normally, separate property is kept by the owner and is not divided but it can be.

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