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Jennifer Ann Pearson

Jennifer Pearson’s Answers

5 total

  • Can I go and pick my daughter up and take back home ?

    Jennifer’s Answer

    I believe from the background information you provided that the protection order case was dismissed, but it sounds like there may be a pending case for a parenting plan. Even if the protection order case was dismissed, there may be a court order that would affect your ability to pick up your daughter. Custody matters that involve a third party are intended to protect children when neither parent is a suitable custodian. The Court shall determine custody in advance with “the best interests of the child”. RCW 26.10.100. However, it is not enough for a third party to focus only on the “best interests of the child”. These actions are much more than a comparison between what the parents and the third party can provide the children. It will be essential for the third party seeking custody to provide evidence to support a basis to restrict a parent’s access to their own child. RCW 26.10.160 sets forth factors that may be a basis for limitations. The key is that both parents must be unfit, or otherwise joined the petition.

    Temporary orders are authorized by the non-parental custody statutes (RCW 26.10.110 and RCW 26.10.115). Temporary orders are generally an essential for the non-parental custodian as the basis for the petition is that the children are unsafe or otherwise in an unfit situation, and action is needed.

    A critical aspect of a non-parental custody case is that the Court must make an “adequate cause” finding in order for the case to proceed. If the Court does not find adequate cause the motion will be denied. If the Court finds adequate cause for hearing the motion it shall set a date for hearing in an order to show cause why the requested order should not be granted. RCW 26.10.032.

    Where custody is granted to a non-parent, the general rule is that the parents shall be granted visitation. RCW 26.10.160(1). However, there may be limitations imposed on the parents based on a finding that the limitation is required for the child’s physical, mental or emotional health. The Court may also impose continuing supervision if it finds a risk to the child’s physical, mantel or emotional health.

    The above should be construed as general information regarding the issue of third party custody. I encourage you to discuss your specific situation with an attorney who can help you to understand all relevant statutes and offer legal advice regarding the issues you are facing.

    Important: To obtain legal advice you should hire a lawyer (for “full service” representation or for “limited” representation) or, if you cannot afford one, contact a low cost or free legal service program. In Washington,, for a referral to a lawyer or a legal service program, call CLEAR (888) 201-1014.

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  • What are the chances for me to get full custody of my son with supervise visitations for his father?

    Jennifer’s Answer

    A parent’s right to spend time with his or her children may be subject to limitations if a court finds facts sufficient to establish reasons for putting limitations on a parent, such as limiting a parent’s contact with children to supervised visitation. If the court finds problems that may harm a child’s best interests, the court may limit that parent’s contact with the child and right to make decisions for the children. This parent may not necessarily lose parental rights; what happens will depend on the facts and applicable statutes. Substance abuse may be the basis for limitations if the court finds that a parent has a long-term problem with drugs, alcohol, or other substances that gets in the way of his/her ability to parent. If the court does order supervised contact, the dates and times of supervised contact, whether the supervisor is professional or non-professional and the cost of the supervisor (if applicable) will need to be determined. If the court finds that a parent has a substance abuse problem, the parent may be ordered to submit to an evaluation or treatment, and the court can order what happens if that parent does not follow the evaluation or treatment requirements, if they are ordered. If there is a concern that your child is not safe in the care of the other parent, it will be important to act swiftly to protect your child’s best interests.

    It will be important to present relevant facts and the necessary paperwork; I encourage you to discuss your specific situation with an attorney who can offer legal advice regarding the issues you are facing.

    Important: To obtain legal advice you should hire a lawyer (for “full service” representation or for “limited” representation) or, if you cannot afford one, contact a low cost or free legal service program. For a referral to a lawyer or a legal service program, call CLEAR (888) 201-1014.

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  • Can I file for modification of parenting plan in new venue to where the original parenting plan is?

    Jennifer’s Answer

    The location where the children reside is important to the issue of venue. It sounds like you wish to change venue by agreement to the county where the children have resided primarily for the past two years. As you embark on your paperwork to change your parenting plan, you will encounter the Washington family law forms; you can find them at www.courts.wa.gov/forms. Look for the section “Court Forms: Petition to Change a Parenting Plan/Residential Schedule”; you will see a form FL Modify 601, which is the Washington pattern form for a Petition to Change a Parenting Plan, Residential Schedule or Custody Order. You will note that section 4 of that document asks the completing party to “describe the parenting/custody order you have now” and includes a place to identify when it was signed by a court and in which county and state. Beneath that language, the form includes this language: Important! Attach or file a certified copy of the current parenting/custody order that you want to change if it was issued in a different county or state.

    It may take a little time to obtain a certified copy from King County. The link below may be helpful.
    https://www.kingcounty.gov/courts/clerk/access-records/records.aspx

    Note: More forms needed to change the parenting plan than the one mentioned above. The family law forms are intended to be helpful, but there are many and they can be confusing. I encourage you to obtain legal advice regarding your matter.

    Important: To obtain legal advice you should hire a lawyer (for “full service” representation or for “limited” representation) or, if you cannot afford one, contact a low cost or free legal service program. For a referral to a lawyer or a legal service program, call CLEAR (888) 201-1014.

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  • If I tell my exwife its up to her to pick the kids up at a location and she refuses will i be in violation of our agreement?

    Jennifer’s Answer

    If you have a Parenting Plan signed by the court, it likely includes a section about transportation arrangements that specifies where the children will be exchanged for parenting time (picked up and dropped off). If the parenting order specifies that the parent about to start parenting time must arrange to have the children picked up, then that parent would typically be responsible for arranging that transportation apart from the other party unless there is an agreement otherwise. Generally speaking, parents may mutually agree to deviate from their parenting orders, but if there is not mutual agreement to deviate, you must follow the order as written. I encourage you to discuss your specific situation with an attorney who can review the paperwork from your case and offer specific advice to help you to move forward.

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  • Can I take my ex husband back to court for not dividing the sale of the house equally ?

    Jennifer’s Answer

    Based on the background information that you provided, it sounds like when you finalized your divorce you received a promissory note that was not secured by a judgment or deed of trust on the real property; your ex-husband was able to sell the home in 2017 without having to pay you. It also sounds like he was able to sell the home for more than expected when you divorced, but this may not be the basis on which you can obtain relief, depending on how your interest in the asset is specified in your Final Divorce Order. For whatever amount you are owed, you may be able to obtain a judgment to secure your interest, and there may be a path to obtaining what you are owed from the 401(k) now rather than a distant point in the future, but these issues are complex, and review of your court pleadings is imperative to properly assess your options.

    I encourage you to discuss your specific situation with an attorney who can review the paperwork from your case and offer specific advice to help you to move forward.

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