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my girlfriend just got papers that her boyfriend is seeking

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legal custudy of the children...
my girlfriend just got papers that her boyfriend is seeking legal custudy of the children as has given her 20 days to leave the house. she does not know where to go or where to start her process for fighting for her kids, she has just sent paperwork off for child support and can not get any tanf yet since she is still in the house, he has shut off the cable, and has not been home lately, and has taken off for the weekends, they have a joint checking account and she took $100.00 out for food since he would not give her any money. The kids are 6yr and a 7 month old, she did run a daycare at home, but since can not do this since her boyfriends other boy moved in and is very hard to controle and he has chosen this boy over the other 2 children as his parents back him on this decision and show favoritism over this boy and do not even notice the other 2 children. he has cheated on her in the past and pretty sure he could be back with the mother of the 1st child and pretty much wants to get rid of my friend and make her scared that he can take the kids from her. They have been together for 8 yrs and she was the stay at home mom to raise the kids and keep the house clean, which she did a wonderful job at. Both of her parents are worthless and she can not stay with them. she has no income, and can not afford a lawyer, so should she try to represent herself if it sounds like he has a lawyer ?and can he try to get her to move out in 20 days, and does she have to leave the house if she is not on the morgate loan only him.? and what can she take if they have been together this long. friend in washington
Submitted: 6 years ago.Category: Family Law
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Answered in 11 hours by:
1/1/2012
Family Lawyer: Lucy, Esq., Lawyer replied 6 years ago
Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 31,018
Experience: Attorney with experience in family law.
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Hi,

My name is Lucy and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear about your friend's situation.

Since they are not married, if her name is not on the title, then he is the owner of the property and she is essentially a tenant. Without a written lease, she would be a month-to-month tenant, which means that he can ask her to leave at any time, as long as he gives her written notice at least 20 days before the end of the month. RCW 59.18.200. That means that, if he gave her the notice before the 11th, she needs to be out today.

As far as what she can take - everything she owned before they moved in together is hers. It's up to the two of them to divide joint purchases. Since they're not married, a judge isn't going to divvy it up for them - unfortunately, unmarried couples don't get the same protections under the law. If they never had an agreement, she's entitled to roughly half of the items they purchased together. If she's taking the children with her, she can also take their personal items, clothing, etc.

Child support and custody are really different issues. If there's no court order that says otherwise, when she leaves, she may take the children with her. She can respond to his petition by asking for sole custody. The judge will look at several factors to determine what is in the best interests of the children. He'll consider that the father has another child that he favors over these two, and he'll consider if the father has basically thrown his children out of their home on 20 days notice.
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