Meredith McKell Graff’s Answers

Meredith McKell Graff

Vancouver Family Law Attorney.

Contributor Level 10
  1. How do I get copies of criminal records for my child custody case?

    Answered about 2 years ago.

    1. Meredith McKell Graff
    1 lawyer answer

    You can go to www.wsp.org (Washington State Patrol) and set up an account without charge. For $10 each (paid by credit/debit card), you can get criminal histories for people in Washington. You need to know date of birth. You will want to file these with the court, along with more information about how your daughter's mother exposes your daughter to risk. Are these people boyfriends? Girlfriends? How often are they at her house? What do they do there (drugs?) If any are sex offenders, that...

  2. Can adoption subsidy off-set child support obligation?

    Answered about 2 years ago.

    1. Meredith McKell Graff
    1 lawyer answer

    I have seen this done by the court, but you need to bring your case to the court to have a judge decide. The adoption subsidy is considered income to the parent with the children and added to his/her income on the child support worksheet and that parent gets to keep 100% of it.

  3. What happens if my 12 yr old was to stay with me in washington, and not go back to her dads in oregon?

    Answered about 2 years ago.

    1. Dave Hawkins
    2. Meredith McKell Graff
    2 lawyer answers

    When you say he "has custody in Oregon," I believe you mean, the child resides with the father in Oregon. What does the father want to do? If the two of can agree that the child should stay with you, you will need to wait until the child has been in Washington for six months, then you and the father can file an agreed parenting plan in Washington. Are you married to the child's father? If yes, you need to get divorced or legally separated. If not, did the father sign an acknowledgment of...

  4. What is the affidavit used for in court?

    Answered about 2 years ago.

    1. Meredith McKell Graff
    2. Brian Chiles Tevis
    2 lawyer answers

    For most court purposes, Washington uses a sworn declaration (the language at the end of your statement that says, "Signed at [city], [state] on [date]: I declare, under penalty of perjury, under the laws of the State of Washington that the foregoing is true and correct," rather than an affidavit that needs to be notarized (as in Oregon). Generally, as a family law attorney, the only affidavits I see are either a GR 17 Affidavit to state that the court document has more pages than what is...

  5. My ex personally "serves" court docs to me, but gets her relatives to FALSLY sign Return of Service form.... what can I do?

    Answered over 3 years ago.

    1. Meredith McKell Graff
    2. Yevgeny Jack Berner
    2 lawyer answers

    Write a sworn declaration about all these instances. You can get the form at www.courts.wa.gov. It will be with the family law forms under "All Family Law Cases." It does not have to be notarized. That said, the court may only slap her on the wrist because you got "actual," if not "legal" notice of the hearings. Further, you only need to be personally served with a petition that starts a case and motions for an ex parte restraining orders and order to show cause. You do not have to be "...

  6. Just b4 the pre trial hearing,

    Answered over 3 years ago.

    1. Meredith McKell Graff
    2. Yevgeny Jack Berner
    3. Elizabeth Rankin Powell
    3 lawyer answers

    I am sure it is very hard to hear from the other side after over a year of legal drama (and perhaps high legal costs, if you have an attorney, also), that her new attorney wants to try to come to an amicable ending, either negotiated or mediated, when you have asked for this all along and were shut down. As an attorney who tries to resolve conflict peacefully whenever possible, I find myself in your spouse's new attorney's shoes quite often. The other side, the person in your situation, is...

  7. Does he still owe me child support.

    Answered over 3 years ago.

    1. Meredith McKell Graff
    2. Yevgeny Jack Berner
    3. Ronald S. Pichlik
    3 lawyer answers

    Call the Department of Social and Health Services-Child Support Division. The phone number is in the blue state government pages in your phone book or online. They can tell you if there is an outstanding amount owed to you by the other party. If there is, you will need to talk to an attorney about how to go about getting a court judgment against the other party and then how to enforce the judgment once you get it.

  8. Custody

    Answered over 3 years ago.

    1. Meredith McKell Graff
    2. Yevgeny Jack Berner
    2 lawyer answers

    It is not likely to happen unless her parents consent to "nonparental custody," that is, custody by a non-parent. The person wanting to be the nonparental custodian will have to prove to the court that both parents are unfit. If your friend just doesn't like the rules in her parents' house, does not mean they are unfit. If her home situation is dangerous to her, she should call Child Protective Services and they will take it from there. When your friend is sixteen, if she is able to keep up...

  9. Is the court approved parenting plan altered if the primary care giving parent allows the child to live with the other parent?

    Answered over 4 years ago.

    1. Meredith McKell Graff
    1 lawyer answer

    You have allowed your son to live with the non-residential parent by your consent. The longer your son is with her, the better her case becomes if she decides to ask the court to modify the parenting plan, based on "integration in the non-residential parent's household by consent of the residential parent." Given your son's age, I am sure he has an opinion, but as the named residential parent, you are eroding your legal rights the longer your son is living in your ex-wife's home.

  10. What are the chances this would be accepted?

    Answered over 4 years ago.

    1. Meredith McKell Graff
    1 lawyer answer

    The fact that you had a restraining order against him for two months over a year ago doesn't help much unless he is currently dangerous to the baby. Has he threatened you or the baby recently? How is he unstable? Has he been diagnosed with a mental illness? These are questions the court will want to know to restrict his parenting time. Generally, the court is going to order very short, and frequent visits for a newborn, no matter what. It is not likely the court will give him every other...

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