Legal Question in Family Law in Washington

Can Foster Child get married

My daughter got married at age 16 with my permission. The next day, at the dependency hearing, the judge charged me with contempt of court. My parental rights have NOT been terminated. The social worker, Catholic Family Services and the family therapist were all aware of my daughter desire to get married.

Can I be charged with contempt of court? Can the court order me to nullify the marriage?

Thank you for your help.

--name removed--Wurdeman

Asked on 7/13/05, 6:50 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys


Re: Can Foster Child get married

If you are in a dependency proceeding, the court and only the court can control your daughter's actions, including whether or not she gets married.You best see an attorney and get thi sstraightened out with the court ASAP. This situation coul dhave serious consequences for you. Your parental rights do not have to be terminated for the court to exercise its continuing jurisdiction over your child. Good Luck.

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Answered on 7/14/05, 5:42 pm

Christopher Steuart IT Forensics, Inc.

Re: Can Foster Child get married

I presume that your daughter was in foster care, and that a dependency action had been filed. With those assumed facts, you did not have the authority to give permission to your daughter to get married. The fact that CFS and the therapist knew that your daughter wanted to get married does not exonerate you. You signed the permission (they did not), and you don't say that they advised you to sign the permission (and even if they did you are still responsible for the act of signing, although you may get some mercy from the judge on the basis of their advice). You should seek the advice of an attorney, and you should not appear at the dependency hearing without representation or if you can't get an attorney in time, requesting time to get representation before a determination of the contempt citation.

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Answered on 7/14/05, 7:46 pm

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