first, your fiance needs to hire an attorney. he is not equipped to be,making sophisticated legal arguments. You have not provided nearly enough information so as to gauge the procedural aspect of the case. IS there already a PP. If not, has someone file a petition to establish a PP -- these are complex issues with no easy answers . Please schedule an appointment with a family law attorney to review the case from a factual as well as a procedural perspective.
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WA does not recognize the concept of "joint custody." Normally one parent gets custody, and the other gets visitation. The facts you outline include a suicide attempt and removal of one child by CPS for abuse or neglect. These facts certainly favor your fiance in a custody battle with this suicidal and abusive mom. Your fiance should retain an experienced family law attorney to represent him. It sounds like you have a pending child custody case, and in a separate DV case the court suspended his visitation rights. The DV order trumps any other custody order, but DV orders normally last for only a year. Therefore, you are correct that you need to get a favorable order in the custody case. The judge in that case will have access to all the records in the DV case. Make sure the judge knows that your ex has violated the DV order and is in contempt of court in that case. 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 DV, CPS, child custody, and parentage cases for more information about the legal issues raised by your inquiry. Click on my photo. On my AVVO home page click on "View Contributions" or scroll down further and click on "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.”
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