Tips from the Ex Parte Family Law Commissioners: Entering Final Papers

Here are some simple suggestions for entering final papers in the Family Law Ex Parte Department. Missed our previous post on pointers for earning “gold stars” when you appear before the Family Law Commissioners? Find it here.

Read the local rules and laws, and follow them. Examples:

For temporary emergency relief in Ex Parte:

  • Don’t forget to go to the Clerk’s Office to get your “Present in person” stamp before coming to Ex Parte.
  • Provide the proposed TRO/Order to Show Cause with the date, time, courtroom number, name of courthouse, and address of courthouse completed.
  • Provide the motion and all supporting documents, including required financial documents, if monetary relief is requested.
  • Complete all lines of the financial declaration if monetary relief is requested;
  • If you are requesting restraints and a hearing date beyond 14 days, you must state what the good cause is for extending the restraining order.

To enter final dissolution pleadings in person or Via the Clerk:

  • If you are appearing in person, don’t forget to go to the Clerk’s Office to get your “Present in Person” stamp before coming to Ex Parte.
  • Complete the Certificate of Compliance form. (The Ex Parte Department does not stock these forms, so make sure you bring one with you.) Check only the lines that apply to your case. The forms can be found online at the King County Superior Court website.
  • If you are coming into Ex Parte to enter final papers, either bring a party for formal testimony or bring the Declaration in Lieu of Formal Proof found at Appendix 1 of LFLR 5. You must, however, present Final Parenting Plans in person (see below).
  • If you present final orders with your client, please know what questions to ask. Ex Parte does not need the address of either party.
  • If you are presenting final papers and either the Final Parenting Plan or Final Order of Child Support have been previously entered, please include that date in your final decree, especially if you are presenting Via the Clerk. Ex Parte signs more than 200 orders every day we are in session, plus runs calendars and handles walk-ins, so it would greatly assist the court.
  • Obtain a signature from the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office on the Child Support Order if either party has received or is receiving public assistance.
  • Fully complete the child support worksheets for final Child Support Orders.
  • If a deviation is sought, please reread the statute and indicate the legal basis supporting the deviation; agreement alone is not enough.
  • If minor children are involved, the Final Parenting Plan must be presented in person (see below) before final papers can be submitted Via the Clerk process.
  • If the Court cannot enter either the Final Parenting Plan or the Final Order of Child Support, then the Court cannot enter the final dissolution papers either, as Ex parte cannot bifurcate the proceedings. Please prepare your client for this possibility if you have reason to believe there may be a problem.
  • Please verify before coming into court whether the clients do or don’t want a name change, and be sure to include a middle name if one is desired. Also verify the spelling of all name changes. If handwritten, please make sure that the handwriting can be easily read.

To enter Final Parenting Plans:

  • The attorney must present all Final Parenting Plans, including Modified Final Parenting Plans and Relocation Final Parenting Plans, in person. Except for Relocation Parenting Plans, the parenting seminar certificates are required to be attached to the final parenting plans per LFLR 13(c)(5). Bringing your client is optional. However, if you think the court will have questions about either party’s Individual Case History at least one party – and preferably both parties — should be present to answer questions.
  • If a GAL or CASA has been appointed, obtain their signatures on the Final Parenting Plan.
  • If the Final Parenting Plan is based on an evaluation, please be ready to provide a hard copy of the evaluation to the Commissioner. Point out which recommendations were followed and which were not.

 

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