Selected State Statutes: Washington

Statutes: Washington

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26.09.013. Interpretive services--Literacy assistance--Guardian ad litem charges--Telephone or interactive videoconference participation--Residential time in cases involving domestic violence or child abuse--Supervised visitation and safe exchange centers

In order to provide judicial officers with better information and to facilitate decision making which allows for the protection of children from physical, mental, or emotional harm and in order to facilitate consistent healthy contact between both parents and their children:

(1) Parties and witnesses who require the assistance of interpreters shall be provided access to qualified interpreters pursuant to chapter 2.42 or 2.43 RCW. To the extent practicable and within available resources, interpreters shall also be made available at dissolution-related proceedings.

(2) Parties and witnesses who require literacy assistance shall be referred to the multipurpose service centers established in chapter 28B.04 RCW.

(3) In matters involving guardians ad litem, the court shall specify the hourly rate the guardian ad litem may charge for his or her services, and shall specify the maximum amount the guardian ad litem may charge without additional review. Counties may, and to the extent state funding is provided therefor counties shall, provide indigent parties with guardian ad litem services at a reduced or waived fee.

(4) Parties may request to participate by telephone or interactive videoconference. The court may allow telephonic or interactive videoconference participation of one or more parties at any proceeding in its discretion. The court may also allow telephonic or interactive videoconference participation of witnesses.

(5) In cases involving domestic violence or child abuse, if residential time is ordered, the court may:

(a) Order exchange of a child to occur in a protected setting;

(b) Order residential time supervised by a neutral and independent adult and pursuant to an adequate plan for supervision of such residential time. The court shall not approve of a supervisor for contact between the child and the parent unless the supervisor is willing to and capable of protecting the child from harm. The court shall revoke court approval of the supervisor if the court determines, after a hearing, that the supervisor has failed to protect the child or is no longer willing or capable of protecting the child. If the court allows a family or household member to supervise residential time, the court shall establish conditions to be followed during residential time.

(6)(a) In cases in which the court has made a finding of domestic violence or child abuse, the court may not require a victim of domestic violence or the custodial parent of a victim of child abuse to disclose to the other party information that would reasonably be expected to enable the perpetrator of domestic violence or child abuse to obtain previously undisclosed information regarding the name, location, or address of a victim's residence, employer, or school at an initial hearing, and shall carefully weigh the safety interests of the victim before issuing orders which would require disclosure in a future hearing.

(b) In cases in which domestic violence or child abuse has been alleged but the court has not yet made a finding regarding such allegations, the court shall provide the party alleging domestic violence or child abuse with the opportunity to prove the allegations before ordering the disclosure of information that would reasonably be expected to enable the alleged perpetrator of domestic violence or child abuse to obtain previously undisclosed information regarding the name, location, or address of a victim's residence, employer, or school.

(7) In cases in which the court finds that the parties do not have a satisfactory history of cooperation or there is a high level of parental conflict, the court may order the parties to use supervised visitation and safe exchange centers or alternative safe locations to facilitate the exercise of residential time.