A third party action in Spokane County can be brought by any legal adult. The action will seek custody of a minor child and typically will argue the child(ren) will be better off at the home and residence of the party seeking the action.
These actions are complicated and challenging as the petitioner is seeking to limit the parenting rights of one or both parents. The right to have children and parent is perhaps one of the most protected rights under our laws. The petitioner will have an uphill battle regarding showing evidence about the reasons why the child(ren) should not live with the parents.
Third party actions in Spokane County are no different. They start with a petition in which both parents must be served. This is often overlooked. In many occasions, the child(ren) live with one of the parents, but the other is not in the picture. The court will still require that the petitioner seek out and effectuate service of process on the other parent. In other words, the petitioner has to notify and give the non present parent a chance to answer to the petition.
The court will prefer to give custody to the other parent rather than a third party. Therefore, the standard is that much more difficult to show for a petitioner, as he/she/they will have to show that the child should not be with either of the parents. Of course, if one of the parents is deceased, the petitioner only needs to show evidence of that.
To bring a third party action in Spokane County, a party simply has to pay the fee and file the proper paperwork with the Spokane County Superior Court Clerk. The petitioner does not necessarily have to be a family member (even though they often are) or related by a blood relationship. This is not a requirement to bring any third party actions in Spokane or any County in Washington State.
Spokane Superior Court could appoint a Guardian Ad Litem at the expense of the petitioner. Petitioners are often surprised that the court may require them to pay for a Guardian Ad Litem, which often will require more than $5,000.00 in a retainer. This is expense is one that petitioners will have to budget for as the courts often believe that a petitioner will be taking a significant financial burden by becoming legally and financially responsible for a child(ren).
Petitioners are often surprised to when they have to pay the cost of the Guardian Ad Litem, and the Guarding Ad Litem does not work for their interest. The job of the Guardian Ad Litem is to be a neutral third party to advocate for the best interest of the child(ren). This can be problematic when the Guardian’s report is not necessarily favorable to the party who is incurring the cost.
Third party actions are complex and emotionally draining. Families must prepare for a difficult court process that can be expensive and time consuming. If you are considering to bring a third party action in Spokane County, please contact the Quiroga Law Office, PLLC at (509) 927-3546.
Overview of This Area of Law
What is a Marriage? (legally speaking)
Illegal Marriages in Washington (and Spokane)
Prenuptial Agreements in Washington
Divorce: Filing, Deadlines, and Other Issues
Divorce: Temporary Orders and Motions
Parenting Plans in Spokane County
Child support in Spokane County
Division of Assets in a Divorce
Third Party Actions in Spokane County
Third Party Actions in Spokane County and Adams County | Quiroga Law Office, PLLC