Child Custody - Parental

Parental & Paternity Matters
Custody of children is addressed in one of these 3 areas:
  1. In the divorce proceeding if the parties were/are married and filing for divorce.
  2. In a "non-parental" proceeding if the person(s) seeking custody is/are not the biological (birth) parent of the minor child/children. Please see the Non-Parental Custody section of this website.
  3. In a paternity proceeding:
    • If the child and/or custodial parent is/are receiving public assistance (welfare or food stamps) and paternity has not been established, please contact the Support Division of the Yakima County Prosecuting Attorney's Office. They will review your situation and determine if their office will process your case.
    • If the child and/or custodial parent is/are not receiving public assistance (welfare or food stamps) and paternity has not been established, please contact the Court Facilitator or a private attorney.
The Clerk's staff cannot assist you or give legal advice. It is advisable you contact an attorney to assist you.

Domestic Violence Protection Orders (Restraining Orders) Filed in Paternity Proceedings

If there is a history of domestic violence and a restraining order has been requested in the petition for residential schedule, the Court may enter a permanent restraining order in your case. There are separate forms and instructions for requesting an order for protection once your case is filed. You may obtain the forms at the Washington State Courts/Forms/Unmarried Parents.

If you have not started a petition for residential schedule/paternity case and you are a victim of domestic violence, please see the Protection Orders section of this website.