Washington

Paternity/Parentage

Legal Information

Family

In this section of Washington LawHelp you will find general information and self-help packets about parentage cases in Washington state.

IMPORTANT NEWS:  In December 2013, the state Supreme Court in In re Parentage of C.M.F., Docket No. 8802908 (12/19/13), issued a decision that affects procedure and the rights of parties in parentage cases. Even if you cannot afford to pay one to represent you, try to meet with a lawyer once for advice about how this ruling could affect your case.

 

  • Options for Unmarried Parents

    3600EN - General Information for parents who have never been married and who want to get court-ordered support, visitation or custody. Read More

    By:
    Legal Voice
  • Parentage and Parenting Plans for Unmarried Parents in Washington

    3601EN - The legal information in this publication is designed to help you learn about the laws that apply when you have a child and you are not married to that child's other parent. It includes information on: 1) How to determine if paternity has been legally established and, if appropriate, how to file to establish the paternity of your child (called a parentage action); 2) How to get a custody order (which is called a parenting plan or residential schedule). This publication may also help you if you want to legally establish that you are not the child's parent (called "disestablishment of parentage"). Read More

    By:
    Northwest Justice Project
  • Video - Establishing Paternity in Washington State - Acknowledgement Form

    Establishing parentage means determining who is the legal parent of a child. This 10 minute video explaning basic questions and answers about paternity. Read More

    By:
    Division of Child Support
    Read this in:
    Spanish / Español
  • Parenting Plans (court orders about child custody)

    3230EN - This publication provides general information about what a parenting plan is and how to get one. It also explains how to enforce or change a permanent parenting plan. Read More

    By:
    Northwest Justice Project
    Read this in:
    Spanish / Español
  • What You Need to Know! Changes in Paternity Legislation 7/22/11

    Overview of how changes in Washington's 2011 paternity legislation affect you and your clients. Read More

    By:
    Washington State Division of Child Support
  • Working With GALs and Parenting Evaluators: Tips for Parents in Family Law Cases

    3106EN - If you are involved in a divorce, paternity or nonparental custody case where the other parent does not agree with you, the court may appoint a Guardian ad Litem (GAL) or Parenting Evaluator. This publication contains tips to help you work successfully with the GAL. Read More

    By:
    Northwest Justice Project
    Read this in:
    Spanish / Español
  • Filing a Petition for Establishment of Parentage (Paternity)

    3620EN - This packet is intended to help you fill out and file the forms and papers that you need if you are not married to the other parent of your child, you want to start a court case to ask the court to establish the parentage (paternity) of your child, and you meet the following criteria: (1) There is no Paternity Affidavit which establishes parentage of your child OR Your child has a Washington State Paternity Affidavit that was signed before July 1, 1997; AND (2) There is no court order in any state that establishes parentage of your child. Read More

    By:
    Northwest Justice Project
  • Filing an Agreed Petition for Parenting Plan (Custody) When Parentage Has Been Established

    3603EN - This packet is intended to help you fill out and file the forms and papers that you need if you are not married to the other parent of your child, the paternity of your child has already been established, and you and the other parent want to ask the court to enter an agreed residential schedule, parenting plan and/or child support court order. You should use this packet only if you and the other parent agree 100% about your parenting plan or child support and you just want to ask the court to enter final court orders that follow your agreement. Read More

    By:
    Northwest Justice Project
  • Filing a Petition for Parenting Plan (Custody) or Child Support When Parentage Has Already Been Established

    3602EN - This packet will help you fill out and file the forms and papers that you need if: you are not married to the other parent of your child; the parentage (paternity) of your child has already been established by court order that is more than two years old; and you want to ask a Washington court for a residential schedule, parenting plan or child support court order. You can also use this packet to ask the court for a parenting plan if you have already established parentage with a paternity affidavit; if you established parentage in the last twenty-four months, and you are looking to change who the child resides with. Read More

    By:
    Northwest Justice Project
  • Filing a Motion for Emergency Orders for Parentage Cases and Modifications of Parentage Cases

    3608EN - A Motion for an Emergency Order is officially called a Motion for an Ex Parte Restraining Order/Order to Show Cause. This type of motion is a way for you or another party to ask the court to enter a court order that gives you certain rights and/or protections in your family law case between the time your case is filed and the date it is finished. The main difference between this type of motion and a Motion for Temporary Orders is that you use it in an emergency -- you will be asking the court for a court order that takes effect immediately, without prior notice to the other party. Because the court usually does not want to enter an order before the other party has a chance to tell her/his side of the story, you usually should only file a Motion for Emergency Orders if there is an emergency or urgent reason why you need an order entered before you can have a temporary orders hearing. Read More

    By:
    Northwest Justice Project
  • Filing a Motion for Waiver of Your Filing Fee

    3204EN - This packet includes the instructions and forms needed to ask the court to waive (not ask for) the filing fee required to file court papers in a civil case because you can't afford to pay the fee. Read More

    By:
    Northwest Justice Project
  • Responding to a Petition for Parenting Plan (Custody) or Child Support When Parentage Has Been Established

    3605EN - This packet is intended to help you fill out and file the forms and papers you need to respond to a Petition for Parenting Plan/Residential Schedule or Child Support when you are not married to the other parent of your children and parentage has been established. Read More

    By:
    Northwest Justice Project
  • Parenting Plans, Residential Schedules and Child Support for Parentage Cases and Modifications of Parentage Cases

    3604EN - This packet is intended to help you fill out the forms and papers for parenting plans, residential schedules, and child support in parentage (paternity) cases, which are family law cases for parents of a child who are not married. You should not use this packet by itself. You should use this packet only if you are the petitioner (the one who is starting the court case) or the respondent (the one who is responding to the court case) in a Petition for a Residential Schedule/Parenting Plan or Child Support, a Petition to Establish Parentage, or another type of parentage (Paternity) case, or if you are the petitioner or respondent in an action to modify a custody decree or parenting plan in a Parentage case. Read More

    By:
    Northwest Justice Project
  • Responding to a Petition for Establishment of Parentage (Paternity)

    3621EN - This packet is intended to help you fill out and file the forms and papers that you need to respond to a Petition for Establishment of Parentage on form number WPF PS 01.0100 (to find out the form number, look at the first page of the Petition in the bottom left-hand corner). Read More

    By:
    Northwest Justice Project
  • Filing a Motion for Temporary Orders for Parentage Cases and Modifications of Parentage Cases

    3607EN - A Motion for Temporary Orders is one way for you to ask the court to enter a court order that gives you certain rights and/or protections after your family law case has been filed, but before it is finished. You may ask the court to enter temporary (short-term) orders for restraining orders, a parenting plan or residential schedule, child support, a guardian ad litem (GAL), genetic testing, attorney·s fees and costs or other relief. Read More

    By:
    Northwest Justice Project