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What kinds of things will the court consider when determining a father's visitation and rights?

Puyallup, WA |

Now to start off, THESE ARE GENUINE CONCERNS. My goal here is to give my 6 month old safety and stability. I have many concerns about the father of my son, and I am scared to death for my son to be left alone with him, These are some of my concerns: 3/4 people in his home smoke, the parents he lives with smoke pot and are alcoholics, there are MANY guns and knives lying all over their home, the father has recently shown many scary signs of mental instability, he told me that he would like to shoot and kill my father, I have multiple messages from his stating that he doesn't want any part in my child's life, he refused to put him on his insurance so I had to put my baby on state assistance, he cannot do ANYTHING that has to do with taking care of the baby (not even a simple diaper change) he never visits (my son doesn't see him as a familiar face) and will not buy anything for my son. These are just some of my main concerns about the dad being alone with my son. It scares me so badly. Will the court consider any of this when deciding visitation and rights? The dad is not interested in being a father; he only wants to hurt ME. He is using my child as a weapon..

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Attorney answers 2


All of these are issues the court will consider. It sounds like the court should enter substantial restrictions on the dad's contact with this baby (limited time, supervised by you, no overnights), and order the dad to undergo evaluations for domestic violence and drug and alcohol abuse. Take a look at RCW 26.09.191 to see what I'm talking about. You should ask that a Guardian Ad Litem be appointed to investigate the dad and his household. You should also visit the domestic violence desk in the courthouse, and ask to see a DV facilitator; they may be able to help you get a DV protection order. This service is free. Any act or comment (like a threat) which causes fear of bodily harm is domestic violence. 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 domestic violence, parenting plans, child custody, visitation, and ".191 restrictions" 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”.

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In Washington State the best interest of the child is what the Court will strive to protect. There are several statutory guidelines/factors that can be used to determine when establishing visitation. If you look up RCW 26 you can review the factors that the Court considers when making visitation decisions.

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