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Author Topic: RE: WA DAD  (Read 2567 times)


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« on: Oct 25, 2006, 12:21:21 PM »
Every courtroom is different. AND the procedure is different depending on the REASON you are there. A child support case is diffferent from a Custody case and they are both different when it is a modification versus an original case.

However, at the last CS case - we went pro se in Whatcom County -- the clerk calls the parties to the case into the courtroom. They sometimes move a case to give a missing person a chance to show up. Then they take a look at the CS worksheets and the person bringing the motion goes first (modifications, the complainant may be the "respondent" of previous paperwork). Then the judge hears the other party's case and he or she may ask questions of both sides. It was very informal. Everyone was sworn at the same time. We had prepared for 2-3 years prior to going for a reduction and basically knew what we were getting into. It was before a commissioner, not a judge. We also, had to go do an objection to relocation and a parenting plan modification - BUT I do not suggest doing so without an attorney. The PP modification cost us about $9K, but there was no way to successfully deal with the court for the parenting plan modification without the lawyer in the time we had to come up with the know how.

On the CS mod, we had an advantage in that the Washington State Support Registry sends their own lawyer into the mix -- it was an assistant DA in our case. She was able to get the proper income (don't forget to add any income tax refund as INCOME) from the CP. So on our modification, CS went down and CP's % of uninsured medical went up to 50%... since BM had understated her income originally and an overly high % was attributed to DH.

Don't forget to give the judge a "conformed" copy of everything that was sent to the official court file. It is called a bench copy and you can hand it to the court clerk if you havenl't already. If you do not give the judge a copy in addition to the "file" copy, you will be at a distinct disadvantage in court.

Don't forget to answer everything in the proper amount of time.
A true soldier fights, not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves whats behind him...dear parents, please remember not to continue to fight because you hate your ex, but because you love your children.


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« Reply #1 on: Oct 25, 2006, 02:50:35 PM »
Also,  Since you have some time before your court date.  Get into a family court proceeding and watch the proceedings. Learn to relax and take in the ambience.  You'll see how the other attorney's act with each other.  You may even see the opposing counsel in action.  In my county anyone can view the civil court proceedings.  Get in there and become accustomed to the whole process.  You don't have much time left.

The proceedings are normally "hosted" by a commissioner, who is NOT elected by the public.  A commissioner is put in power by the judges.  (no recourse?)  Sometimes a judge will actually "host" the proceedings.  Normally judges only oversee (literally, they will oversee the truth) a proceeding after it comes out of the family law (commissioner) proceeding and hasn't been resolved.

Don't fret if the commissioner is female and not an old male crony.(sometimes lawyers fill in for a vacationing commissioner) A female commissioner would be better because ( I believe ) they can see through another womans ways of playing the court.  Yes, women know how to play the "weaker sex" card.  Don't fall for it...you are the weaker sex in femily law.

Also, when the commissioner speaks, listen, shut up and listen, answer the question briefly to the point and have your papers in order.  Organize your papers so that you can find everything within 3 seconds.
WHEN THE COMMISSIONER IS SPEAKING SHUT UP AND LISTEN. (See Judge Judy for an example of how irritable a judicial person can be when interupted...btw Love Judge Judy she is pro shared parenting)

WA. Dad

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« Reply #2 on: Oct 25, 2006, 09:49:18 PM »
I want to say Thanks for your info, it was helpful and a little calming for my nerves.

A little back ground on my case, I lived with mother for 6 months, we planned to get married, at 3 months together mother was pregnant, 3 months later mother leaves, unkown location until about 3weeks prior to giving birth.
The day my son was born she called me, and asked me over to see my new son, she lived in next town, 35 miles away, I went to see him that day, and back to see him at least 2 days a week forthe next couple months.
One day I went to see him, mother greeted me at the door and told me my visits with son would only take place at public place, of course I was somewhat upset, public setting not the greatest place for bonding with young baby.
Well in order to see my son I agreed, and the next time mother went shopping I was able to visit with my son while she pushed her cart around Walmart.
The next time I called to visit my son she didnt answer her phone, nor the many messages I left, that went on for a few weeks, until I went to her place to see what was up, as I drove up I say her other 2 kids playing on front porch, as I parked say the to kids going though the door, I got out and knocked on the door no answer, I knew she wasnt going to speak to me so went to the car for pen&papper to leave a note, as I walked back to the door, I heard someone call my name, turned around and the police were at the street, comanded me to put my hands up, and they searched me, then told me that mother called said I was at the door trying to pound the door down, and that I was dangerous, and carried a handgun.
I then had a chance to explain myself, I was there to see my son, hadnt heard anything for over a month.
The officer then went into mother house and talked with her, came back ask if I had any visitation orders etc. nope then told me that mother doesnt want me around there, to leave and not come back.
I tried to call her, but could only leave voicemail message asking for  info why she wasnt answering my calls, and not letting me see my son. no replies.
I felt giving her time might be best, so I didnt call for about a month, then one day while in her town, I drove by her place, noticed that her apartment was vaccant, she'd moved out.
I didnt hear any word from her for just shy of a year, when the Sheriff stopped by to give me some papers, paternity papers that is!
I was served Restraing/No contact orders also. claiming Domestic Violence.
She had moved clear across the state, around your area Whatcom co.
I ended up puting enough $ together for a laywer, went to my hearing, and because my lawyer didnt reply to her claims of abuse in the right amount of time, they hit me with everything, and limited me to 1 hour a week supervised visitation with my son, hell, I could barely afford to go once a month.
The best thing that happened that day was the Judge agreed with me on appointing a GAL to our case, then I let that lawyer go.
I jumped though all their hoops, did as many visit as I could, put up with driving 10 - 12 hr. and not get a visit, problems with scheduling etc.
But I didnt give up, soon the GAL filed his report to the Court and I was cleared of her claims of abuse, etc. goodbye supervised visits, hello puting up with the same from mother. continued............. :D ad

WA. Dad

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RE: WA DAD continued.............
« Reply #3 on: Oct 25, 2006, 10:16:52 PM »
continued............. It was my first time working with mother to scedule a visit with my son, at this time I'd had my son for 5 day&night visit. all on her side of state, so I asked for a 2 wk visit with me at my home, she claimed concerns that it might be to long a visit, he was 3 at the time, she reluctantly agreed, I drove the 10-12 hr drive, met her as arranged, and she tell me I cant take him, that she never agreed to the visit, but...... If I wanted to take him for a couple of days,  I  could.... meet with her lawyer, I agreed to talk with her lawyer, met her at the courthouse, and listened to what she had to say, she wanted to write out a temp. parenting plan and have me sign, as I listened to her speak about the T.P.P. I was soon aware it wasnt Father friendly, I voiced this to the lawyer and she told me that if I didnt sign it I wasnt going to see my son, I calmly stood up and walked out.
I spent the next 4 days at public Library and court facilitators, filed for a hearing for temp. P.P. and drove home.
Came back for my Hearing and left with 3 day visit with my son, and a Temp PP which was fair to me.
After this some medical ploblems kept me from visiting my son for awhile, but I stayed in contact, she wouldnt answer my calls but every chance I could I sent card, box of gifts, at b-day and X-mas cont........

WA. Dad

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RE: WA DAD continued.............
« Reply #4 on: Oct 25, 2006, 10:57:08 PM »
WE had a trial date set, and because of my med. condition I called her lawyer to reschedule court date, she agreed, and asked if we could agree on PP without goin to court, I told I felt we could, and asked her to send poposed PP to me, and I would do same.
the next day I called mother to see what her ideas were on PP. and found out that both cell, and home phone had been disconnected, the next day I called local Police to do a welfare check, they called back and told me she had kicked out in July, and that she move out of the county, it was end of Sept. at the time.
She never filed any Relocation Notice with Court, of informed anyone, and still hasnt done so.
because of her taking off before I started to worry, I made a trip over, collected Police reports, talked to Apartment manager, and GAL while I was there, I also talked with mothers lawyer and asked if she would contact mother so I could have a visit with my son, stalled, then told it had been to long since I'd seen my son, and they werent going to let me see him.
Back to the Library, and WA. Court forms, and to the Courthouse and filed Contemp on mother, after some discusion, I offered to drop comtemp charges if they would let me have visits with son, thats what the judge ordered, he layed out dates and times, next day mother apealed the ruling to another judge, denied !
I spent the next 3 days visiting son, then went back home
A couple days later, I was served again, mother while I was with son went to court for a Ex part? Restraining order and was denied, but still scheduled hearing, and at the hearing was denied again.
Now I'm on my way to court again for Custody trial, I think I'm good place, the GAL has seen some of the mother actions, lack of responsibility, etc.
I just wnt to tell others that if you just stick with it, do your best, sometimes if you give them enough rope..............
Good luck to all, I know your pain, your hopes and wishes.
God Bless you all, and pray he brings the children back into your life again.
WA. Dad


WA. Dad

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RE: WA DAD Questions about GAL testimoney
« Reply #5 on: Oct 27, 2006, 08:32:52 PM »
I'll be in Court next week, Pro Se?                         10/27/06

I only have a few people to witness as to my character, past parenting skills, etc.

But what I was looking for any advice as to what kinds of Question to ask the GAL in my case.
Can I ask him about everything he found out, how he found it, who he learned this information from.
And about if he looked into mothers medical records, and also talked with her Dr.  or any mental health records he looked at, and if he spoke to Dr. is that confidential or can I ask about it, or can he talk about it?

Any sugestions, or comments would be greatly appreciated.

Ive posted some backgrond below, and back a few posts (cont.....)
Thank You WA. Dad

I know he has info on mother regarding her use of false statements to get Restraing/Protecton Order, and Supervised visitation earlier in my case.
After GAL report cleared me and restrictions were lifted she still mad things hard for me to see my son.
Mother lost her job, lost her apartment in July, then gave custody of other 2 children to their Father, after moving she never filed any Relocatation papers with the Court, still hasnt, then I found out she bought a old school bus and hit the road for all Sept., then for a couple weeks in July.
In Oct. I went to mothers area, reported to GAL about the Job, Apt. and bus, etc.
I called, then asked mothers lawyer to contact mother so I could have a visit, she stalled, then said they wouldnt visit happen, because it had been so long since I'd seen my son, I dont think she was in the area.
then I filed contempt charges for not following PP, 2 weeks later at Hearing I told Commissioner I would drop contempt if I could see my son, he approved that, then mother appealed to a judge the next day, that judge upheld it, and we started 1st visit, during this visit, mother went and filed for Ex parte restraining order, that was denied, and the hearing 2 wks later was also denied. again she made up false statements.
In her statement she claimed that she was afraid of me, and that at that time said she was staying at a safehouse, I believe she was homeless at that time and living in the bus, its not converted into camper, no water, electric, restroom etc.
Thanks !


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