YAKIMA COUNTY COURT FACILITATOR
If you are not the biological parent of a child, and you are asking for custody, you may file for Nonparental Custody (3rd party custody). You may purchase a book called “Nonparental Custody” in room 323 of the courthouse for $50.00. This book contains all the forms, samples and instructions necessary to start and finalize your case. The filing fee is $280.00.
If you need assistance in completing the book, you may schedule an appointment with the Facilitator by calling (509) 574-2695.
- Do I need an attorney?
You are not required to have an attorney and you may represent yourself. You may also hire an attorney at any time.
- What is the basis of nonparental custody?
You must prove to the court that the child does not reside with either parent
or that neither parent is a suitable custodian
- Will the court check my background?
The court will perform a CPS background check on you and any other adults living in your household. You will obtain a Washington State Patrol criminal history check on you and any other adults living in your household. The court will use this information when determining custody.
- Will the Judge speak with the children?
If the court feels it is appropriate, the judge may interview the children or appoint a Guardian Ad Litem to speak with the children outside of court. The GAL may also speak to you and the other party.
- Do I have to notify both parents about my request for custody?
Yes. Both parents must be served or sign your papers if they are in agreement. You must notify both parents even if they have not been involved in the child’s life.
- What if I cannot find one or both of the parents?
You may request court permission to serve by mail to a last know address/ family member’s address or by publication if there whereabouts are unknown.
- What if I don’t know the father’s name or address?
If the father is unknown and is not listed on the birth certificate, you may ask the court for permission to serve him by publication.
- Can I get an emergency custody order?
Yes. You may request the court grant you emergency custody. If the court feels it is appropriate, they may sign an order immediately
- How long does it take to obtain permanent custody?
If both parents agree, your case may be completed in one month. If either parent contests your request for custody, your case may take longer than six months to complete.
- Do I have to go to court?
If either parent contests your request for custody, you will have to go to court. You may have several court hearings