Friday, May 14, 2021

Non-Parental Actions are No More in Washington.

The legislature has just repealed the non-parental custody statute (RCW 26.10) and has moved similar actions under the Guardianship Statute (RCW 11.130).

If you are concerned about the well-being of a child, the facts you must provide to the court to become the guardian of the child are similar to those necessary under the old statute.

The legal standard is that no parent of the minor is willing or able to exercise parenting functions.  Parenting functions are defined as the ability and willingness to feed, clothe, care for, educate and protect the child.

The new statute also has complicated how and when the state must provide an attorney to the child or to parents who might lose their children. 

Here at Mason Law, Craig Mason has seen cases through many changes in statutes and case law over the years, and he can help you negotiate these new legal standards.  Call Mason Law, Spokane, WA, at 509.443.3681 if you need help becoming the guardian of a child. 

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Let’s Begin the New Year with some Important Information.

Washington repealed its Non-Parental Custody Act (RCW 26.10), and as of December 31, 2020, orders final by that date shall remain in effect as final orders, but any pending case is automatically dismissed and must be re-filed under the new Guardianship Statute (RCW 11.130.185 and related statutes).

The key showing that must be made under the new statute is: “clear and convincing evidence” there is no parent of the minor child willing or able to perform “parenting functions.”

Parenting functions are all the ways in which one nurtures a child: feeding, clothing, loving, educating, and financially supporting.

Frankly, no one is sure where this new statute will lead, as statutes require years of court interpretation before the doctrines are clarified.  But Mason Law of Spokane, WA, has been through statutory changes before, and will go through them again.  If you have a grandchild, niece, nephew, or other child, whose parents cannot care for them, and you wish to step in, call Craig Mason of Mason Law in Spokane, WA, at 509-443-3681 to discuss the facts of your situation.