EFFECTIVE 10-2-14 APPOINTMENTS WITH CLERK FACILITATOR ARE NOW AVAILABLE ON A LIMITED BASIS. APPOINTMENTS ARE AVAILABLE ON TUESDAYS ONLY. PLEASE VISIT THE CLERK'S OFFICE TO SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT OR CALL FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION.
The Clerk Facilitator will assist with the following types of cases:
Divorce/Legal SeparationFamily Law MotionsChild Support ModificationsRestraining OrdersChild Relocation
Establishing a Parenting PlanParenting Plan ModificationNon-Parental CustodyInvalidity/Annulment Parentage
The Clerk Facilitator cannot assist people with:
AdoptionsJuvenile DependencyWillsEvictionsTraffic Citation
GuardianshipsBankruptcyProbateName ChangeCriminal Charges
Services Available from the Clerk's Facilitator:
**Information on how to start certain family law actions **Information on what legal forms are needed**Preparation of case specific legal documents **Review of client paperwork for completeness **Information on court rules, procedures & case schedules **Information on other court and community resources **Assistance in scheduling court hearings**Computation of child support
Ways to Obtain Facilitator Services:The Clerk's Facilitator is seen by appointment. Appointments will be scheduled by the Facilitator once payment is received at the Superior Court Clerk's Office.
Fees:The cost is $25.00 for the initial 30 minute appointment, every subsequent 30 minute visit is $15.00. The fee is received at the Superior Court Clerk's Office. Once the payment is received the Facilitator will call and schedule the appointment. The dissolution packet fee is $25.00
Program Location:Benton County Superior Court Clerk's OfficeBenton County Justice Center7122 West Okanogan PlaceKennewick, WA 99336(509) 735-8388
Excerpt from Washington State Court Rule GR 27(d, e and f):Family Law Courthouse Facilitators shall, whenever reasonably practical, obtain a written and signed disclaimer of attorney- client relationship, attorney-client confidentiality and representation from each person utilizing the services of the Family Law Courthouse Facilitator. The prescribed disclaimer shall be in the format developed by the Administrative Office of the Courts.
No attorney-client relationship or privilege is created, by implication or by inference, between a Family Law Courthouse Facilitator providing basic services under this rule and the users of Family Law Courthouse Facilitator Program services.
Family law courthouse facilitators providing basic services under this rule are not engaged in the unauthorized practice of law. Upon a courthouse facilitator's voluntary or involuntary termination from a courthouse facilitator program, that person is no longer a courthouse facilitator providing services pursuant to RCW 26.12.240 or this Rule. [Adopted effective September 1, 2002.]
How to prepare for your appointment with the Benton County Clerk's Family Law Facilitator
For All Cases:
For Dissolution of Marriage/Legal Separation Cases:1. Prepare a complete list of your property and other assets; this includes real estate (include addresses and parcel numbers), automobiles and other vehicles (include make, model and VIN numbers); bank accounts (include bank name, balance and account numbers), stock and bonds (list details), retirement accounts (list details), life insurance polices with a cash value (list account number and value), inheritances, household items, jewelry and any other asset you possess. If you or your spouse have separately owned property be sure to list those items on a separate sheet of paper. If you know how you want the property divided under the terms of the dissolution, prepare a second list with two headings, "Husband" and "Wife" at the top. Under each heading list the items to be awarded to each of you.
2. Prepare a complete list of your debts and liabilities (with creditor and account number), which includes mortgages, loans for automobiles and other vehicles, credit card accounts, and any other type of loan or debt owed by you and your spouse. The balances should be as of the date of separation. All debt incurred during the marriage and prior to the date of separation, regardless of whose name is listed on the account, is considered community debt for purposes of the dissolution documents. Please make a complete list and do not assume an account is separate if it is listed in one name only. It must be listed on the dissolution documents. Also prepare a second list with two headings, "Husband" and "Wife" at the top. Under each heading list the debts you want to be responsible for and the debts you want to be the responsibility of your spouse. If you believe there are separate debts, kindly list those items on a separate piece of paper. An example of a separate debt is an account in your name only that did not gain in principal during the marriage. If you are unsure whether a debt is community or separate, it will be discussed at the time of your appointment.
3. Be prepared to provide your income information and that of your spouse. I will need your gross monthly income and deductions from your paycheck. Also, please bring information concerning child support paid for children from previous relationships.NOTE: Please make your lists as legible as possible on 8.5" x 11" plain white paper. Typed is preferred, but neatly handwritten lists are acceptable. See example list on page two.
Example List:Wife's Proposed Division of Community Debts
Wife Husband2003 Ford Explorer,VIN WRU14763For Parentage Cases:Bring in your copy of the Affidavit of Paternity or Paternity Acknowledgment signed at the hospital at the time of the child's birth. If your child was born after July 1, 1997 and you do not have a copy of the affidavit. you may request a certified copy by sending your request along with a copy of your picture identification and a check or money order for $35.00 to the following address:
Center for Health StatisticsPO Box 9709Olympia, WA 98504-9709
Be sure to include the name of the child (first, middle and last names), the date of the child's birth, the city in Washington where the child was born, the full name of the father and the full name, including maiden name, of the mother. Please allow 4-5 weeks for delivery to you.
REQUEST FOR ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF PATERNITY, LETTER CONFIRMING FILING DATE AND BIRTH CERTIFICATE FOR A CHILD BORN IN WASHINGTON
REQUEST FOR LETTER CONFIRMING DATE OF FILING OF ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF PATERNITY FOR A CHILD BORN IN WASHINGTON
For Modification Cases:For Child Support: Bring in a copy of your most recent child support order
For Parenting Plans: Bring in a copy of your most recent parenting plan
Either document can be obtained from the Superior Court Clerk's Office. A deputy clerk will make copies for you at a cost of .50 per page.
For Third Party Custody Cases:Utilize the Wife/Mother's Information section of the Master Information List to list information about the mother of the child(ren) for which you are seeking custody and the Husband/Father for the father's information. List similar information about yourself and your spouse as the petitioners on a separate sheet of paper.