How to File for Temporary Custody of a Minor in Washington State

By Contributor

Updated July 20, 2017

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Parents who live in Washington state have the ability to adjust the child custody on a temporary basis through the family court system. These adjustments can occur due to abuse, moves, job changes and other reasons for modifications. The Washington Family court will take everyone's needs into consideration and examine each family's situation before coming to a decision. The Washington family court system will not allow children to remain placed in a setting that is not safe if the parent who is filing for custody has proof. The court system also will not move a child just because it is convenient for one parent.

Go to the family court house in your Washington county and request the form WPF CU 03.0100 which is the "Motion and Declaration for Temporary Nonparental Custody Order."

Write in the name of the child or children you want custody of, the name of both parents and the places of residence of both parents. Write down the reason you are requesting custody and attach any documentation that you have supporting the proof that you deserve custody.

Document the type of visiting rights that you will grant the other parent, if any. Emergency transferring of custody and denial of the right of the other parent to see the child will require proof that the other parent is a danger to the child. Pictures, documentation from teachers, social workers or doctors can all serve as proof. Your written notes regarding behavior of the other parent while switching custody or while the children were in his custody can be included in the evidence. Attach the documentation to the form.

Submit form WPF CU 03.0100 to the Washington family courthouse in your county and pay the filing fees that can change from county to county.

Attend the court hearing regarding your request for child custody. Explain your reasons clearly and remain calm while in court. Provide additional support for you to have child custody through witnesses and any additional documentation you might have during the court hearing.


Contact the Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-562-6025 if you or your children are a victim of abuse in Washington State. The hotline can advise you on how to get additional help.