Skip to main content
Kate M Forrest

Kate Forrest’s Answers

872 total


  • My baby's mother has moved from Texas to Seattle , what are my rights ?

    I live in Texas but we have no custody agreement because she didn't tell me u til after baby was born and didn't out me in birth certificate . When she was here I would go once or twice a week to see her but she never would let me take her alone o...

    Kate’s Answer

    Where you file depends on how long she has been gone. Courts can only make orders regarding children if they have proper jurisdiction, and if no court has made orders about this child before, original jurisdiction is going to be with the courts in the child's "home state," which is where the child has lived for the 6 months prior to the start of the case. If she just left, you can file in TX, but if she has been in WA for 6 months or more, you would have to file here. You can read about establishing parentage in WA here: http://www.washingtonlawhelp.org/files/C9D2EA3F-0350-D9AF-ACAE-BF37E9BC9FFA/attachments/39266A66-E675-4570-2C55-461B716C7F55/3601en_parentage-and-parenting-plans-in-wa.pdf

    See question 
  • Can he be required to pay alimony out of his savings?

    If a man has no job and is living off of his savings, can he be required to pay alimony out of his savings when the savings were all earned before the start of the marriage?

    Kate’s Answer

    It is certainly a possibility--there are no fixed rules about when maintenance will be paid, so it is within the discretion of the individual judge hearing your case, and there are far too many unknown factors to even venture a guess about a likely range of outcomes. RCW 26.09.090 guides maintenance decisions in WA:

    The maintenance order shall be in such amounts and for such periods of time as the court deems just, without regard to misconduct, after considering all relevant factors including but not limited to:
    (a) The financial resources of the party seeking maintenance, including separate or community property apportioned to him or her, and his or her ability to meet his or her needs independently, including the extent to which a provision for support of a child living with the party includes a sum for that party;
    (b) The time necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party seeking maintenance to find employment appropriate to his or her skill, interests, style of life, and other attendant circumstances;
    (c) The standard of living established during the marriage or domestic partnership;
    (d) The duration of the marriage or domestic partnership;
    (e) The age, physical and emotional condition, and financial obligations of the spouse or domestic partner seeking maintenance; and
    (f) The ability of the spouse or domestic partner from whom maintenance is sought to meet his or her needs and financial obligations while meeting those of the spouse or domestic partner seeking maintenance.

    If there is a legitimate need or a just outcome calls for maintenance, whether there is enough money to go around matters more than what the source of those funds is. You should review the totality of your circumstances with an attorney.

    See question 
  • How do I write an effective motion to persuade a judge to allow me to take a DV class out of state?

    For a dissolution of marriage, I am required to take 52 hours of DV treatment in a group setting. Never been arrested or charged for DV, but I divorced pro se while she had a high priced attorney. Huge mistake. My child was taken from me until I t...

    Kate’s Answer

    If you want to convince the court that the program in NH is satisfactory, you would need to prove that it has equivalent standards to the programs in WA. The Washington Administrative Code has a chapter devoted to DV Perpetrator Treatment Program Standards that sets forth all of the requirements for a certified program relating to curriculum, minimum staff training, program policies, etc.: http://apps.leg.wa.gov/WAC/default.aspx?cite=388-60

    If you read that chapter, you will see the theme of accountability throughout. Your post makes it clear you do not yet accept responsibility for your actions, and that is going to be a red flag to the court--what motivation will the court have to make special accommodations for you if you're demonstrating that you aren't going into the program with the right attitude for it to actually be effective? "The program must base all treatment on strategies and philosophies that do not blame the victim or imply that the victim shares any responsibility for the abuse which occurred" (WAC 388-60-0045)...it is not her fault or her attorney's fault that you are required to take these classes. It is irrelevant that you were never charged with criminal DV--family court is civil, and there has been a finding by a preponderance of the evidence that you committed DV. The court has an obligation to protect the best interests of the child, and children are harmed by DV even if they are not being physically abused...one of the elements of the curriculum is to learn about "the incompatibility of domestic violence and abuse with responsible parenting" (WAC 388-60-0245). Your best chance of being reunited with your child is to embrace this opportunity to get help changing your "patterns of behaviors, thinking, and beliefs" (WAC 388-60-0055) and work towards becoming a safe and healthy influence in your child's life.

    See question 
  • Is a non-State Registered domestic partnership legal in the state of California - or in Washington?

    my opposite sex partner and I began our relationship as a couple in California before the 1999 legal registry program took effect. We never signed the program, moved to Washington state where we parted ways; I legally married and divorced so...

    Kate’s Answer

    If you have never registered your domestic partnership in any state, he could not file a "Petition to End Registered Domestic Partnership (Dissolution)" [see form #202: http://www.courts.wa.gov/forms/?fa=forms.static&staticID=14#FamLawForms]. There is nothing to dissolve. Neither CA nor WA recognize common law marriage either, so that would not be a basis to file for dissolution either. WA does recognize "committed intimate relationships" that are "marriage-like," but they do not need to be dissolved in a family law action--parties to CIRs who want to divide assets and debts that accrued during their marriage-like relationship file a complaint in civil court. He cannot do that either, however, because the statute of limitations for that category of cases is 3 years after the end of the relationship. In sum, I don't think you have anything to worry about. **HOWEVER!** That does not mean you do not have to respond if the "demand" is in fact a summons & petition or complaint that has been filed in court. If it is, you would need to respond by the deadline and explain to the court why the case should be dismissed. If you are not sure if he is trying to take official court action, you should review the demand with an attorney. Good luck!

    See question 
  • My friend relly needs help and i wanted to know if this is engough for his parents to loose custody of him

    my friend himself is grounded for asking this so he cannot ask this himself once my friend broke his foot / toe and his mum forced him to stay home not go to any hospital or anything that went on for 2 weeks until he pretended it dident hurt we...

    Kate’s Answer

    If you are concerned about your friend's safety in his parent's care, you should report the situation to Child Protective Services: https://www.dshs.wa.gov/ca/child-safety-and-protection/how-report-child-abuse-or-neglect
    If CPS determines that they are abusing your friend, he may be removed from his parent's home. There is a preference for keeping families together whenever possible, so the parents may be offered services (such as parenting classes, therapy, etc.) if CPS thinks they have the capacity to provide a safe home with help. If it is determined that they are absolutely unfit to parent no matter what services may be provided, the state could petition the court to terminate their parental rights. If there are any trusted adult friends or relatives who would want to take him in, they could file for Non-Parental Custody, but those cases are very difficult--legal parents have an absolute right to parent their children unless they are found to be unfit, and that is a high burden (it is not sufficient that another home might be better for him).

    See question 
  • Tell how can I get custody of my grand daughter she's in Alaska and I live in Washington st

    Right now my grand daugther in child service now in Alaska

    Kate’s Answer

    You should re-post this question in the Alaska forum - procedures differ by state, and Alaskan courts have jurisdiction over a child living there, so Alaskan attorneys would be better able to assist you.

    See question 
  • Can male sperm donors be held liable financially in any way for an a donation through a licensed bank?

    I am a male eligible to donate sperm in Washington State and have been considering doing so, but have heard stories of men being forced to pay child support or sued for unforeseen complications in the child's birth. After a bit of research, I read...

    Kate’s Answer

    I was not going to answer, because it sounds like you may be the same person who asked about directed donation to a friend and you're looking for other insight that will settle the difference of opinion on that question, but since you're not getting any responses I'll offer this suggestion: find an assisted reproduction attorney with whom you can schedule an in-person consultation for more personalized advice about your situation. I don't believe Avvo lists that category, but adoption attorneys often do ART law as well. You could hire them to review the donor agreement provided by the sperm bank and make sure it complies with the terms of the UPA that prevent you from being found to be a legal parent. Good luck!

    See question 
  • Agreement to not pursue Child Support.

    I have a friend who wants a kid. She would like a donor and she would like me to be the donor. We talked and she states she will no pursue child support. Can we make a notarized agreement pertaining to this matter? Would it hold up in court? Would...

    Kate’s Answer

    Perhaps we have a different understanding of the term, but I respectfully disagree with prior counsel that artificial insemination has to be done through "medical procedures" in order for a sperm donor to be deemed legally not a parent. RCW 26.26.705 states "A donor is not a parent of a child conceived by means of assisted reproduction, unless otherwise agreed in a signed record," so the issue is establishing yourself as a donor. The method matters (the statute specifically excludes conception by means of sexual intercourse, RCW 26.26.700), but plenty of reputable sperm banks sell specimens for at-home ICI (the more vulgar term for that would be the "turkey baster" method), and many also offer coordination services for directed donation (you provide the sample, bank tests it for health and viability, your friend obtains the sample)...I don't like making referrals to specific businesses without personal knowledge of the quality of their services, but as a starting point, Seattle Sperm Bank has information about this service: https://www.seattlespermbank.com/directedknown-donors-and-personal-storage/
    Maybe this is what Attorney Nguyen meant by medical procedures because you would have to be medically screened, but it is no where near as complicated as IVF or other assisted reproductive technology that requires a physician's active participation. If you truly want to help your friend have a baby, and your only reservation is potential financial liability (there are many other factors you'll need to seriously consider), I don't think you should be deterred by horror stories that occur in other states that don't have our same parentage laws--you just need to be well informed and proceed with a plan.

    See question 
  • Help figure out how to Continue/delay divorce trial.

    Help figure out how to Continue/delay divorce trial. This is in King County Superior Court, Seattle, WA. The divorce trial has already been continue twice. There is still custody evaluation to be finished. Clinical Psychological exam of...

    Kate’s Answer

    King County Local Civil Rule 40(e)(2) provides, "If a motion to change the trial date is made after the Final Date to Change Trial Date, as established by the Case Schedule, the motion will not be granted except under extraordinary circumstances where there is no alternative means of preventing a substantial injustice."

    Your burden is to show what the extraordinary circumstances are and why a substantial injustice would result if a continuance is not granted. For example, did a party or the custody evaluator suffer an illness or injury or some other unforeseeable event that caused an unavoidable delay in the evaluation? That might be an extraordinary circumstance, but the case schedule provides a long period to do discovery, so not having done that yet is probably not going to be compelling to the court. Has there been a ruling by a commissioner ordering the parties to undergo a psych eval based on a reasonable and concrete belief that they might be mentally unfit to care for the children? Proceeding without that information might cause a substantial injustice to the children, but if one party is making allegations of mental instability that aren't supported by other evidence, the court probably won't delay just to have that testing done.

    What is going to be of particular concern in your situation is why there are still outstanding issues after having already been granted two continuances--why weren't the last two extensions sufficient to complete what had to be done? What is different now? If the court doesn't see anything new to justify a third continuance, and expects you'll just be back when this one is over asking for a 4th, they are not going to grant it. There is a policy preference for resolving cases in a timely manner, in part because uncertainty and litigation conflict are detrimental to children.

    See question 
  • How can I apply for a divorce and not let my husband know until I know my surviving options.

    Ionce my husband knows I've filed. I am afraid that I won't have anywher to live or pay rent. He's going to be very angry. Even though he has someone else. It's very scary to me. Thank you for reading this email. # is 206 458 3396.

    Kate’s Answer

    It sounds like you may be fearful about his reaction to you filing for divorce...if that fear is based on past violence or threats to your safety, you should talk to someone who can help you get a protection order. An attorney who can help you with that in addition to to requesting temporary support and/or use of the family home would be ideal, but at a minimum the court provides advocates who can help you with the DVPO: http://protectionorder.org/
    If you are concerned about the cost of an attorney, you should try https://nwjustice.org/get-legal-help or http://www.wsba.org/Legal-Community/Volunteer-Opportunities/Public-Service-Opportunities/Moderate-Means-Program/Moderate-Means-Legal-Help/
    Good luck!

    See question