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Family Law Resources for Washington State

Updated Dec. 27, 2013
Prepared by Ann Hemmens. Updated by Cheryl Nyberg (2012-13).

Family law issues—adoption, child custody and support, community property, divorce, etc.—are governed by state law. This guide identifies many of the useful print and online sources for conducting research on Washington State family law.

Note: LexisNexis and Westlaw are available to individual users with passwords and IDs.


Sources for Lawyers

The following sources are written and intended for use by attorneys. The print sources may also be useful to people without attorneys.

Washington Community Property Deskbook, 3d ed. 1 volume. Table of contents
KFW97 W38 2003 in Reference Area
Includes checklists but not forms.

Washington Family Law Deskbook, 2d ed. 3 volumes. Table of contents
KFW94 .W37 in Reference Area

Washington Judges' Family Law Benchbook, 2009 ed.Washington Practice Family and Community Property
KFW94 .F35 in Reference Area

Washington Lawyers Practice Manual: Manual & Forms, 8 volumes
KFW80 .W27 in Reference Area & online on computers 26, 27, and 28 in the Reference Area
Volume 3, Chapter 9: Domestic Relations Practice. Table of contents

Washington Practice
KFW80 .W3 in Reference Area & Westlaw:
A multi-volume legal encyclopedia covering many areas of Washington law, including:

  • Family and Community Property Law: With Forms, volumes 19, 20, and 21. Westlaw: WAPRAC-FAM
  • Family and Community Property Law Handbook: Rules, Statutes and Mandatory Domestic Relations Forms, volumes 22 and 22A. Westlaw: WAPRAC-FAM
  • Methods of Practice, volume 1: Chapters 20-23 Domestic Relations. WAPRAC-MP. Includes sample forms.


To find other books on Washington family law topics in the Gallagher Law Library, search the catalog for these subjects:

  • Child support--Law and legislation--Washington (State)
  • Community property--Washington (State)
  • Divorce--Washington (State)
  • Domestic relations--Washington (State)
  • Parent and child (Law)--Washington (State)

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Sources for People Without Lawyers

People who are conducting their own legal research or filing for child custody and/or divorce may use the titles listed in Sources for Lawyers. The following materials are prepared especially for people without legal training.

Family Law Handbook: Understanding the Legal Implications of Marriage and Divorce in Washington State, 2009.
KFW100 .A75 2009 in Reference Area
Covers alimony, child abuse and neglect, child support, divorce, domestic violence, prenuptial agreements, property division, relocating children, and shared parenting.
2012 edition available online

Family Law Handbook: Understanding the Legal Implications of Domestic Partnerships and Dissolution in Washington State, 2012.
Covers alimony, child abuse and neglect, child support,  domestic violence, ending a domestic partnership, pre-partnership agreements, property rights, registered domestic partnerships,  relocating children, shared parenting,

WashingtonLawHelp.org

WashingtonLawHelp.org provides a number of helpful guides on family law topics. From the homepage, click on the Family law topics on WashingtonLawHelp.org"Family Law" heading to see a complete list of the subjects available, such as:

  • Adoption
  • Child support
  • Dissolution of marriage (divorce)
  • Domestic violence
  • Parenting plans
  • Paternity / parentage
  • Unmarried and same-sex couples

The Washington Department of Social and Health Services, Division of Child Support website has information for employers and parents, including a child support estimator.

See also the Gallagher guide on Sources of Free Legal Information on Washington State Law under the headings Divorce, Domestic Violence, Elder Law, Family Law, Marriage, and/or Minors.

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Forms

In addition to the forms found in Sources for Lawyers above, additional sources include forms needed for filing certain types of court actions.

Washington State Court Forms
Includes required forms for:

  • Child support and relocation
  • Divorce (dissolution of marriage)
  • Parenting plans
  • Unmarried parents

LexisNexis: Washington Official Forms
Includes family law forms from the Washington Courts.

Westlaw: WA-FAMFORM
Provides "forms, clauses, and checklists that relate to Family Law and are derived from state specific publications as well as general, non-state specific, publications including West Legal Forms, Nichols Legal Forms, AmJur Legal Forms and other sources."

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Current Developments

Washington Family Law Reporter, bimonthly
KFW94.A15 W37, current issues in Reference Area, older issues in Classified Stacks
A useful current awareness tool, summarizing recent Washington State family law decisions.

See also the Gallagher guide on Law-Related Blogs in Washington State under the Family Law heading.

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