Friday, July 1, 2022

De Facto Parentage -- a Parent "in-fact"

Washington State has long had a common law pathway to be declared a "parent" of a child.  More recently, there is a statutory pathway, as well, as our legislature has recognized changes in the family form, and our statutes and courts are clear that a child can have "more than two" parents.  If you have a close relationship with a child and are in danger of losing visitation, here are the statutory elements for establishing that you are a de facto parent: (a) that you resided with the child as a member of the household for a significant period; (b) that you engaged in consistent caretaking of the child; (c) that you undertook full and permanent responsibility for the child without an expectation of financial compensation; (d) that people knew you had a parental role; (e) that you developed a bonded relationship with the child; (f) that one of the parents of the child supported you developing this relationship; and (g) that continuing your relationship is in the best interests of the child.

Here at Mason Law we have experience helping you to develop the facts for your case.  Call Craig Mason, in Spokane, WA, at 509.443.3681 for more assistance in protecting your relationship with a child to whom you have become a parent.