Legal Question in Family Law in Washington

How do I go about getting legal custody of my daughter? Her father and I were never married and he's not really that involved. But I just want to make sure that I have legal custody. A friend of mine told me she just went to the courthouse, paid the fees, filed for custody, and went in front of a judge and it was granted and the father didn't have to be notified or even knew about it. It was a while ago she did this so is this still how it works?

Asked on 1/29/14, 11:18 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Jonathan Baner Baner & Baner


That is not how it has ever worked. Due process has always been required and it always requires notice and opportunity for a hearing.

A lot of times what happens is that an uninvolved ex gets defaulted after proper service of process, but he does need to be served or any judgment (wrongfully obtained) will be subject to being reopened later.

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Answered on 1/31/14, 4:49 pm

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