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How can I file to have my child's father's parental rights taken away?

Lynnwood, WA |

He lives in California while I live in Washington state with my 2 daughters. he has seen them once in the past 7 months and has never paid any child support. He gets supervised visits due to domestic violence. He filed for custody in California so that's where I had to go to get custody of them. the judge gave me full legal and physical custody of the children and also to live in Washington state. Can I file further custody in Washington or will I have to go through California each time for a custody hearing?

Attorney Answers 2


  1. California under the doctrine of continuing exclusive jurisdiction. In Wa. a parent CANNOT take away another parent's parental rights -- being a parent is a fundamental right protected under the US constitution and I would wager it is the same in CA. However, you would need to consult with an attorney licensed to practice in CA. In Wa. , non-payment of child support has nothing to do with visitation rights.

    Please note that THESE COMMENTS ARE NOT INTENDED AS LEGAL ADVICE and are for informational purposes only. This response is not intended to create any attorney-client relationship and is only based on the limited facts given. The response might change should additional facts be learned and should not be relied on as legal advice. It is recommended that you consult with an attorney who can properly assess the situation, as well as all pertinent facts, prior to taking any action based on the foregoing statements


  2. The dad's rights cannot be taken away except in a CPS or adoption case, and in those cases the evidence must be very strong. Abandonment is usually construed to mean no contact for over a year. Nevertheless, you may have grounds to modify the CA decree. First you file a certified copy in WA under the UCCJEA, wait 30 days, and your CA parenting plan has become a WA PP. You can then file in WA to modify the CA PP. It’s always best to consult with a good family law attorney to discuss the details before you act. See my AVVO Legal Guides on parenting plans, modifications, and the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act for more information about the legal issues raised by your inquiry. Please keep in mind that although these Legal Guides are often informative, they are no substitute for legal advice from an attorney you have retained for consultation or representation. There are always exceptions to the general rules. Click on my photo. On my AVVO home page click on "Contributor Level - View Contributions" or scroll down further and click on "Contribution - Legal Guides." Scroll down the list of my 29 Legal Guides and select the topics relevant to your question. If you like my answer and Legal Guides, please make sure you mark them as “helpful” or “best answer”. © Bruce Clement

    This AVVO Answer is provided for general educational purposes only. By using or participating in this site you agree and understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the attorney responding, and no attorney-client confidentiality. The law changes frequently, and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The information provided in this Answer is general in nature and may not apply to the factual circumstances described in your question. The applicable law and the appropriate answer may be different in the State or States where the relevant facts occurred. For a definitive answer you should seek legal advice from an attorney who (1) is licensed to practice in the state which has jurisdiction; (2) has experience in the area of law you are asking about, and (3) has been retained as your attorney for representation or consultation. Your question and the attorney’s answer may be used for promotional or educational purposes

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