I have a full DVOP in place preventing my ex from all contact with me and our children (8+ months). FCS report accurately portrayed him as the monster he is. I just filed for divorce and am asking for the current restrictions to stay in place- zero contact and I retain full custody and decision making power. My kids were just diagnosed with severe PTSD due to my abusive ex- they are in treatment. The therapist feel that there is no benefit to a continued relationship with their father, and my kids are terrified of being forced to see him. In the perfect world I would ask for his parental rights to be terminated. How will the judge weigh my children's best interests vs the parental rights of my ex?
The court won't terminate parenta rights in a divorce, but can restrict contact in a case like yours under RCW 26.09.190. The general rules for determining what a parenting plan should say are in RCW 26.09.187: (a) The court shall make residential provisions for each child which encourage each parent to maintain a loving, stable, and nurturing relationship with the child, consistent with the child's developmental level and the family's social and economic circumstances. The child's residential schedule shall be consistent with RCW 26.09.191. Where the limitations of RCW 26.09.191 are not dispositive of the child's residential schedule, the court shall consider the following factors:
(i) The relative strength, nature, and stability of the child's relationship with each parent; (ii) The agreements of the parties, provided they were entered into knowingly and voluntarily; (iii) Each parent's past and potential for future performance of parenting functions as defined in *RCW 26.09.004(3), including whether a parent has taken greater responsibility for performing parenting functions relating to the daily needs of the child; (iv) The emotional needs and developmental level of the child; (v) The child's relationship with siblings and with other significant adults, as well as the child's involvement with his or her physical surroundings, school, or other significant activities; (vi) The wishes of the parents and the wishes of a child who is sufficiently mature to express reasoned and independent preferences as to his or her residential schedule; and (vii) Each parent's employment schedule, and shall make accommodations consistent with those schedules. See my AVVO Answers and Legal Guides on child custody for more information about the legal issues raised by your inquiry. Please keep in mind that although my AVVO Answers and 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. To find my Answers and Legal Guides, 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" or “Answers.” Scroll down the list of my Legal Guides or do a topic search in my Answers and select those which are relevant to your question. If you like my Answers and Legal Guides, please make sure you mark them as “helpful” or “best answer”. Thanks in advance for your support. © Bruce Clement
©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.
I would agree with Mr Clement and would also point out that there are provisions for limiting or completely restricting residential time with the other parent in cases where domestic violence is involved. I would suggest talking to a family law attorney if you are able to do so, because that will be your best resource in navigating this process. If you are unable to afford an attorney, you should make an appointment to see the Family Law Facilitator who can give you some direction on completing the forms. You might also check with the YWCA - in Spokane they have a program to assist people in your situation, so they may have something similar in your area.
The facts you set out are relevant to the commissioner's ruling on temporary orders and the judge's ruling at trial as to the parenting schedule and any limiting factors which will shape the duration, type, place and frequency of the visitation with the father. If there persuasive evidence such that the court is convinced that the relationship between father and children is fractured and that it is in the best interests of the children to have supervised, limited, restricted visitation, that is likely what the court would order. I encourage you to retain a seasoned family law attorney for the children.
Sign up to receive a 5-part series of useful information and advice about child custody law.
Our Rating is calculated using information the lawyer has included on their profile in addition to the information we collect from state bar associations and other organizations that license legal professionals. Attorneys who claim their profiles and provide Avvo with more information tend to have a higher rating than those who do not.What determines Avvo Rating?Experience & background
Years licensed, work experience, educationLegal community recognition
Peer endorsements, associations, awardsLegal thought leadership
Publications, speaking engagementsDiscipline