Parenting Plans/Custody

Know Your Rights

Other Family Problems

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Parentage and Parenting Plans

Learn the laws that apply when you have a child and you are not married to or in a registered domestic partnership with the child’s other parent. #3601EN

Parenting Plans: General Info

What a parenting plan is and how to get one. Learn how to enforce or change a permanent parenting plan. #3230EN

Changing a Parenting Plan or Child Custody Order

Learn more about when and how you can change the final court order awarding custody and visitation of your children. This order might be a Custody Decree or Order, Residential Schedule, or Parenting Plan. #3104EN

I received parentage (or petition for parenting plan or child support) papers

If you received these type of court papers, read this to find out what you need to do next. #3614EN

Child Protective Services (CPS) and Dependency Actions

Read this if you're involved with CPS in Washington State. If CPS asks you to sign a Voluntary Placement Agreement (a VPA), you can get free legal advice from a lawyer right away by calling the VPA hotline at (833) 240-9746, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Phone interpreter services available.#3120EN

De Facto Parentage: The Basics

Someone who has acted as your child's parent could start a court case to be named a legal parent, with all the rights and responsibilities that entails. Read this to learn how could affect your own rights and what to do if you've received these court papers. #3624EN

FAQ: Someone is trying to get guardianship of my kids

Find out your rights and options if if you've been served with court papers from a Washington court seeking to name someone else guardian of your children. #4405EN

File a Motion for Revision in a Family Law Case

Use this to ask a judge to change (revise) a court commissioner's order. #3901EN

Name Change Guide

This guide explains how to change your name by court order. In most situations, it is a simple process you can do by yourself, without a lawyer. #3400EN

Non-Parent Custody has changed to Minor Guardianship

Washington state's non-parent custody law ended in 2021 and a new court procedure called minor guardianship has taken its place. Read a brief overview here. #3128EN

Questions and Answers about Washington's Relocation Law

If you have legal custody of your child, and you wish to move (relocate) and take the child with you, Washington State law may require you to do certain things first. Read this to learn what to do. #3135EN

The other parent has taken my child

Read this if the other parent or person claiming the right to legal custody has taken your children away from you (with or without a court order). #3118EN

Unmarried Couples: Washington Parenting Law

Basic information about Washington State law that applies to parenting when unmarried couples separate. #3912EN

Webinar: Protective Parenting Plans

A webinar to discuss creating a protective parenting plan when there are concerns of domestic violence or parenting deficits that are detrimental to the children. This webinar will discuss parenting plans and provide a general overview for self-represented people of some important court rules to help you understand how to get a temporary motion for a parenting plan before the court.

What happens to my kids if I am sick or die?

If you are a single parent, you may worry who will care for your kids if something happens to you. This explains your options. You should also talk to a lawyer. #3115EN

File a Notice of Appearance

If you are served with a lawsuit, file a Notice of Appearance (NOA) to tell the other party and the court that you want to defend yourself in the case, and you want to get notice if anything else happens in the case. #9931EN

Child Protective Services (CPS) and Dependency Actions

Read this if you're involved with CPS in Washington State. If CPS asks you to sign a Voluntary Placement Agreement (a VPA), you can get free legal advice from a lawyer right away by calling the VPA hotline at (833) 240-9746, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Phone interpreter services available.#3120EN

Know Your Rights When CPS Comes Knocking

A guide for domestic violence survivors to understand their rights in the initial stages of a Child Protective Services (CPS) investigation, and to know what Washington’s policy is regarding domestic violence and CPS, especially in the early stages of a case, when things are moving fast and may feel scary and confusing.

Guardians ad Litem in Family Law Cases

A judge may appoint a guardian ad litem (GAL) in a court case about custody or visitation rights. Any party to the case may ask for appointment of a GAL, or the judge can decide to appoint one. This packet has the necessary forms and instructions. #3103EN

How to work with GALS and parenting evaluators

If you are involved in a divorce, parentage, or petition to change parenting plan case where the other parent does not agree with you, the court may appoint a Guardian ad Litem (GAL) or Parenting Evaluator. Here are some tips to help you work successfully with the GAL. #3106EN

Guardian Ad Litem Report: The basics and how to respond

If you're fighting about a parenting plan in a family law case in a Washington court, read this to learn what a guardian ad litem does, why the report matters, and how to respond to a report when its recommendations don't help you. #3111EN

What happens to my kids if I am sick or die?

If you are a single parent, you may worry who will care for your kids if something happens to you. This explains your options. You should also talk to a lawyer. #3115EN

Questions and Answers about Washington's Relocation Law

If you have legal custody of your child, and you wish to move (relocate) and take the child with you, Washington State law may require you to do certain things first. Read this to learn what to do. #3135EN

Filing a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus

Read our resource The Other Parent has Taken My Child before using this. Use this if you have a court order giving you custody of your child and the other parent has taken your child away from you. #3119EN

The other parent has taken my child

Read this if the other parent or person claiming the right to legal custody has taken your children away from you (with or without a court order). #3118EN

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