Proudly representing clients in family law and criminal defense matters since 1975.

Establishing A Legal Relationship Between Parent And Child

A petition to decide parentage filed in the family court can establish a legal relationship between a child and parent. It is usually filed when there is no acknowledgement of paternity by the child’s father.

A paternity acknowledgement may voluntarily be signed by both parents and gives the person named as the father all of a parent’s legal rights and responsibilities, including a right to request custody and visitation and responsibility to pay child support.

In Washington, a legal relationship may also be established if you lived in the same home with the child for the child’s first two years of life and openly held the child as your own. The court would then consider you to be the child’s legal parent.

What are the benefits of filing for parentage?

If you are in a situation where you fear the child’s other parent is going to deny you contact with your child, you want to travel outside of the United States with the child, or you want to change the child’s last name, our experienced staff can help you establish parentage.

Establishing parentage is the first step that later allows you to get a court order for custody, visitation and support for a child.

If there is no paternity acknowledgement, you may ask the court to establish parentage with a court order. If parents agree who the parent is, the judge may decide based on that agreement.

Efficient And Experienced Legal Advocacy

Once parentage is determined, you can pursue a court order for custody, visitation and child support to establish:

  • Who the child will live with
  • How much time they will spend with the other parent
  • Who will make the important decisions for the child
  • Child support
  • The child’s right to inherit from the other parent

At Everett Family Law, our attorneys are well-acquainted with the fine details of parentage and can help you understand the details you need to know while advocating for the best interests of your child.

Email or call our office in Kennewick today at 866-689-6251 to speak with a lawyer for assistance with your parentage concerns. Get legal support anytime by calling our hotline at 509-279-0381, with services in English and Spanish. We provide legal representation for parentage and other family law matters for clients throughout central Washington, including Yakima and the Tri-Cities of Kennewick, Pasco and Richland.

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