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The Facebook Comment That Got Me In Trouble With Other Lawyers

Posted by Elizabeth Steen | Jan 13, 2020 | 0 Comments

You may disagree with me - and individual situations can vary a LOT. But something I'm always careful about is telling women to sue their ex for emotional abuse, or any domestic violence where there's no hospital report, police report, or other objective evidence that's NOT an affidavit from a relative or friend of one of the parties.

If you're in an abusive relationship, then get out. Get yourself safe. Get evidence. (In whatever order works to keep you and your children safe). There are low-cost services available that will help you. You can do this. Please avoid being in the following situation:

Facebook comment, “I just had an email from a family member of a woman who spent 18 months and is now $100,000 in debt after fighting in court over whether her ex husband would have overnight visits with their children. She lost. Because if he's not in jail, he's almost definitely going to have overnight visits with the children if he wants them in Washington state. So I'm upset. And I don't know who needs to hear this, but if you are with a violent person: 1) Get yourself to safety. Get out of there. Stay safe! And 2) Get the evidence and send him to jail BEFORE you file anything in court. Do not go in front of a judge with your word against his. Do not have your friends and relatives testify or write affidavits. Do not pay for court-appointed evaluations that never go the way you want. It's all a waste of time and money. Get your evidence together and THEN RUN. Washington and the UCCJEA will let you move with notice. Tell him you're leaving and then just leave. Please. DO NOT put your faith in a lawyer. Washington state can't stop your ex from having visits unless your partner has a felony conviction. Any ethical lawyer would tell you that before you pay us any money.”

Please note that wherever you live, the UCCJEA requires you to use the state where your child lived for the last six months as the home state for all court proceedings. And you are not allowed to change the court venue by moving (or at least not by moving for the purpose of finding a new venue - there are other ways to change venue if you really need it).

About the Author

Elizabeth Steen

Elizabeth Steen is licensed in Washington State as well as Washington D.C. After work, Elizabeth enjoys making her West Seattle renowned flan recipe with her daughter, which she’s willing to share with favorite clients. She also enjoys hiking, yoga and chasing her family’s fantasy football league title every fall.


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