Have you taken over the role of a parent for a child, perhaps in a marriage in which the other parent was absent or unfit, and now you are divorcing and fear losing contact with your step-children? Or have parents simply abandoned some children with you for years, leaving you to bond with them, and now a parent has returned and wishes to end your role in the children’s lives? You might seek a de facto parentage action.
In Washington, the four factors the court will evaluate are:
(1) Did the biological parent or legal guardian of the child foster this parent-like relationship?
(2) Did you and the children live together in the same household?
(3) Did you assume the obligations of parenthood without expectation of financial compensation (ruling out most foster parents).
(4) Did you parent the children long enough to form a strong, bonded, dependent, and parent-like relationship?
If so, then the court may protect your rights to visitation with these children.
For this complex matter, contact Craig Mason of Mason law at 509-443-3681 for a consultation to protect the hearts, souls and well-being of these children to whom you have given so much.