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Legal Information: Washington

Custody

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Updated: 
December 3, 2020

If the subject child was conceived from a sexual assault, can the abusive parent (offender) get decision-making powers or parenting time?

No. If the judge finds by “clear and convincing evidence” that the subject child was conceived due to a sexual assault by the abusive parent, the parent cannot get any parental rights. Therefore, the abusive parent (the offender) cannot get residential time or decision-making responsibilities for the child. However, the offender can still be ordered to pay child support.1

It is important to note that the abusive parent (offender) does not need to be criminally convicted of the sexual assault against you – although a conviction can help your case. As long as you can convince the judge that the offender sexually assaulted you and that your child was conceived as a result, the offender can be denied all parental rights.

1 R.C.W. §§ 26.09.191(2)(m)(iii); 26.26.0001(7)(a),(9)