Before July, 2019, you had limited options for getting your child back from a nonparent who had gotten a final custody order. You had to prove to the court that there was a change in the child’s or nonparent’s situation. You also had to prove that giving the child back to you would be in the child’s best interests. The court would not look at whether your own situation had changed.
On July 1, 2019, the Washington Court of Appeals in In Re Custody of S.M. and A.M. found that standard to be unconstitutional. The Court held that a parent should have a chance to show a change in your own situation. It also held that you no longer have to prove it is in the child’s best interest to be returned to you.
*You will also have to show that it will not harm the child’s growth and development to be returned to your custody.