Child Welfare & Child Protection Cases in Seattle, WA

Child Protective Services (CPS) exists to protect children in danger, in Seattle & across the state. Any person can report an instance of abuse or neglect to CPS, which investigates the allegations. However, CPS is a large, bureaucratic organization that sometimes lacks sensitivity to unique family dynamics. CPS can overlook the rights of parents and not adhere to the boundaries of state power. These oversights can act to the detriment of the same children and families that CPS seeks to assist. An effective attorney can help you during this critical investigation phase.

Linda Lillevik has a wealth of experience with child protective services cases in Seattle, WA and brings compassion and understanding to your side. She knows that the happiness and health of your child is most important to you, and has spent years in the courtroom as a powerful advocate in dependency hearings and administrative law, and has earned a reputation for excellence in this area of the law.

Dependency Law

In Washington, child welfare law is generally referred to as Dependency Law. A dependent child is any child under the age of 18 who has been abandoned, abused, or neglected, or else has no capable parent, guardian, or custodian. The child is therefore in danger of physical or psychological harm. Once a dependency petition is filed, juvenile court holds a hearing within 72 hours.

If the court finds that the child is dependent, the court can remove the child from the home and place in foster care or with a relative, or in some cases, the child can remain at home.

A child generally enters the dependency system when Child Protective Services (CPS), a division of the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) files a dependency petition. By law, the parents receive remedial services. The case is reviewed periodically, until:

  • The child returns to the parents
  • Permanent placement is formalized
  • Parental rights are terminated

In a dependency case, each party should be represented by an attorney. Carey & Lillevik attorneys have extensive experience representing clients in this complex area of the law. Linda Lillevik drafted the Dependency Practice Standards published by the Washington Defender Association and adopted by the Washington State Legislature.

Parental Rights and Relative Placement

It is devastating when the State takes a child from the home. But parents still have many rights. Without an attorney who understands these rights and who can navigate the child welfare system, it can be difficult to protect parental rights.

Moreover, Washington law requires that children removed from their parents’ custody be placed with family. Unfortunately, DSHS does not always locate relatives, and the children are consequently placed in foster care. After DSHS identifies relatives, the organization is reluctant to move the child from foster care.

Carey & Lillevik attorneys have handled hundreds of cases involving parental rights. We have the knowledge and compassion to effectively guide you through this process and protect your rights as a parent. We can work with the family to ensure that grandchildren, nieces, or nephews are placed with relatives.

Dependent Children and Youth

The court must heed a child’s voice in a dependency case. Although the courts’ practices vary by county, the court appoints a guardian ad litem (GAL) or a court-appointed special advocate (CASA) to advocate for the child’s best interests.

In contrast, the court can appoint an attorney to represent the stated interests of a youth over the age of 12. Most dependent youths have a perspective incomparable with any other party in the dependency case. Courts are obligated to listen to the youth’s perspective because they are the most affected by the rulings. Attorneys at Carey & Lillevik have extensive experience representing dependent children and youth.

Child Abuse Administrative Findings

While a dependency proceeding is pending, the judge in an administrative proceeding that is concurrent and independent can issue findings of abuse or neglect. Findings can be made regarding:

  • Sexual abuse
  • Physical abuse
  • Negligent treatment of a child

These findings can affect a person’s ability to foster a child or work at a school or nursing home. They can lose their job based on these findings.

Foster parents play a key role for children throughout dependency and administrative proceedings. Foster parents, both relative and non-relative, can also be investigated for allegations of abuse and neglect, similarly to any person who parents a child. Carey & Lillevik attorneys have a deep and compassionate understanding for the foster parent perspective. We have represented many such parents in numerous types of cases including administrative proceedings, dependency proceedings, and adoptions. We are happy to discuss your unique situation with you and are available to represent your interests.

Child in Need of DSHS Assistance or CPS

At times children, whether biological or adopted, may develop such serious mental health issues that a parent cannot safely and effectively handle the child alone. Each family that finds itself in this situation faces a unique set of problems. Carey & Lillevik can help you determine what your values and goals are concerning the needs of your child and family. We then work with you to hold onto your values and meet your goals. We discuss the legal tools available to address your unique challenges and weigh each alternative.

Carey & Lillevik can provide legal advice regarding available services and legal options.




Serious Violent Offenses
Murder
Manslaughter
Assault
Robbery
Vehicular assault/homicide
Arson
Sex Offenses
Rape of a child
Rape
Indecent liberties
Child molestation
Crimes with sexual motivation
Property Crimes
Burglary
Theft
Malicious mischief
Forgery
Taking/riding in a vehicle without the owner’s permission
Vehicle prowl
Trespass



Drug Crimes
Possession of marijuana
Use of paraphernalia
Possession of a controlled substance
Possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance
Crimes Against Persons
Harassment
Assault
Obstruction of a police officer

At-Risk Youth

A youth’s behavior can concern a parent, yet is not criminal. Such behavior can involve:

  • Running away
  • Drug use
  • Suspected criminal activity

Parents and guardians can file an At-Risk Youth (ARY) petition. If the court finds the youth to be at risk, the court can impose and enforce conditions, such as school attendance, drug treatment, curfew, and follow home rules.

The attorneys at Carey & Lillevik can assist parents to determine whether filing an ARY petition is appropriate for each unique situation. If you decide to pursue the petition, we can:

  1. File the petition
  2. Represent you in court
  3. Navigate you through the system

Conversely, some parents or guardians may file an unwarranted ARY petition. Carey & Lillevik can represent this individual in ARY hearings.

Child in Need of Services

Another option for parents and children that face significant conflict at home is to file a Child in Need of Services petition (CHINS). Either a child or the child’s legal guardian may file the petition; this petition can request a temporary out-of-home placement or other services for the child. Carey & Lillevik is committed to the welfare of children and finding the best solution for all parties. The attorneys have years of experience helping children and parents resolve conflicts at home through alternative living arrangements. We are familiar with the CHINS process and can represent you to create options for you and your loved ones.

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Juvenile Lawyers in Seattle, WA

Ann Carey and Linda Lillevik are passionate about juvenile defense. Ann Carey has been a practicing juvenile lawyer for over 20 years. She has learned how to listen and assist clients to establish high goals for their lives. Due to her excellent work, the State recognizes her as a leader in juvenile justice.

Because juveniles are under the age of 18, the juvenile system emphasizes rehabilitation. The system holds youth accountable and attends to their unique needs and the needs of the community. Juvenile court encompasses a variety of cases, including:

  • Truancy
  • At-Risk Youth (ARY)
  • Children in Need of Services (CHINS)
  • Dependency
  • Juvenile crime

Juvenile court can positively or negatively affect a youth’s future. Attorneys that practice in juvenile court must skillfully work with young clients at various stages of their development. Carey & Lillevik attorneys have established relationships in the community that lead to improved results for clients. Our firm employs a holistic model of juvenile representation and seeks not only better outcomes, but better lives. At Carey & Lillevik, we integrate emerging research in adolescent brain development and effective juvenile programs into our youth advocacy.

Juvenile Defense in Seattle, WA

Because of Washington State’s emphasis on juvenile rehabilitation, there is a greater range of options available to juvenile lawyers and their clients that can avoid the stigma of an adult criminal conviction. For example, there are programs for low-level offenses that can keep juveniles out of court. Also, eligible juveniles can petition the court to have their records sealed.

Felony

Although there are some benefits to juvenile court, a guilty verdict is extremely serious. Consequences of pleading guilty or being found guilty of a felony include:

  • Loss of right to possess a firearm
  • Requirement of a DNA sample for state and federal authorities

These consequences limit many young people’s hopes to join the military or pursue other careers in public service.

Alcohol and Drug Offenses

Juveniles who commit alcohol and drug offenses can:

  • Have their drivers licenses suspended
  • Lose the ability to receive federal college loans

Juvenile Sex Crimes in Seattle, WA

Perhaps most significantly, juveniles who plead guilty or are found guilty of juvenile sex crime must:

  • Register as sex offenders with the county sheriff’s office
  • Notify school, neighbors, and other communities

Violent Crimes

In cases of serious violent crimes, or in cases where there is a history of juvenile crime, the juvenile can face confinement at Juvenile Rehabilitation Administration (JRA) up to age 21. In other cases that involve violent crimes, a juvenile may be transferred to the adult system.

Carey & Lillevik attorneys can address any matter in juvenile court. Some examples are:




Serious Violent Offenses
Murder
Manslaughter
Assault
Robbery
Vehicular assault/homicide
Arson
Sex Offenses
Rape of a child
Rape
Indecent liberties
Child molestation
Crimes with sexual motivation
Property Crimes
Burglary
Theft
Malicious mischief
Forgery
Taking/riding in a vehicle without the owner’s permission
Vehicle prowl
Trespass



Drug Crimes
Possession of marijuana
Use of paraphernalia
Possession of a controlled substance
Possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance
Crimes Against Persons
Harassment
Assault
Obstruction of a police officer

At-Risk Youth

A youth’s behavior can concern a parent, yet is not criminal. Such behavior can involve:

  • Running away
  • Drug use
  • Suspected criminal activity

Parents and guardians can file an At-Risk Youth (ARY) petition. If the court finds the youth to be at risk, the court can impose and enforce conditions, such as school attendance, drug treatment, curfew, and follow home rules.

The attorneys at Carey & Lillevik can assist parents to determine whether filing an ARY petition is appropriate for each unique situation. If you decide to pursue the petition, we can:

  1. File the petition
  2. Represent you in court
  3. Navigate you through the system

Conversely, some parents or guardians may file an unwarranted ARY petition. Carey & Lillevik can represent this individual in ARY hearings.

Child in Need of Services

Another option for parents and children that face significant conflict at home is to file a Child in Need of Services petition (CHINS). Either a child or the child’s legal guardian may file the petition; this petition can request a temporary out-of-home placement or other services for the child. Carey & Lillevik is committed to the welfare of children and finding the best solution for all parties. The attorneys have years of experience helping children and parents resolve conflicts at home through alternative living arrangements. We are familiar with the CHINS process and can represent you to create options for you and your loved ones.

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Providing Criminal Defense Services in Seattle, WA

To be arrested or accused of criminal wrongdoing is frightening. With a criminal record, you can lose your freedom, family, job, and dignity. Seek legal representation immediately if you are being investigated for a criminal offense. An experienced, capable criminal defense attorney can make a difference in your future.

At Carey & Lillevik in Seattle, WA, we are experienced trial attorneys: we work best in the courtroom, and our confidence creates a strong presence for your case. We know that favorable outcomes result from intense case preparation, including:

  • Thorough legal research
  • Complete factual investigation
  • Focused legal strategy

In consultation with our clients, we seek dismissal, acquittal, or the best possible outcome. In criminal defense for appropriate cases, we strive to prevent charges from being filed. If a case is filed, we have the expertise and enthusiasm to take a case to trial, defend you, and succeed.

Carey & Lillevik represent clients in state, district and municipal courts throughout the State of Washington.

Our Criminal Defense Practice Includes:




All felonies
Homicide
Violent Crimes
DUI
Sex Crimes
Assault
Vehicular Assault
Expungement and Restoration of Rights
Drug Crimes
Domestic Violence
Property Crimes
Theft
Harassment
Misdemeanors
Gross Misdemeanors

Criminal Defense for all Felonies

Carey & Lillevik are here to assist and represent you in the court of law for any felony charge that has been unfortunately pressed against you. The criminal defense attorneys with Carey & Lillevik are experienced and trusted and can provide you with the criminal defense you need. Whether it is charges of homicide, theft, assault, misdemeanors, drug crimes, and more, we provide the assistance needed to prepare, investigate, and see your case through to the end.

Washington DUI Laws

It is said that Washington has some of the stiffest penalties in the country. Even someone who is proven ‘not guilty’ in the case of a DUI can still experience license suspension that can be fought, but is also a headache to deal with. When you are guilty with a DUI, there are many more potential consequences including large fines, jail time, home detention, & more. If you have question, need assistance or are looking for criminal defense for DUI related charged, Carey & Lillevik are here to help!

Theft Laws in Washington

Theft is defined in Washington as ‘wrongfully obtaining or exerting unauthorized control over the property or services of another or the value thereof with the intent to deprive of such property or services.’ ~ RCW 9A.56.020.

There are several degrees of theft, each one increasing in severity. Even the smallest degree (3rd) or “Simple Theft” can lead to up to a year in jail and a charge of gross misdemeanor. Let Carey & Lillevik provide you with the best criminal defense for any theft related charges

Assault in Seattle, WA

Assault in it’s simplest form is defined as ‘physical harm’ ~ RCW 9A.36. This can refer to many different types of actions. Vehicular assault, sexual assault, and domestic violence are just three different charges that fall into the category of assault.

If you have been falsely convicted with any of the previously mentioned crimes, in Seattle or the surrounding areas, there is no need to worry! Contact us today.

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Family Law & Divorce Attorneys in Seattle, WA

At Carey & Lillevik, we understand the complexities inherent in families and can help you through your challenge with effective, compassionate representation. Our attorneys are experienced in cases involving:

  • Divorce and dissolution
    • Child support
    • Visitation
    • Spousal maintenance
    • Modifications to divorce settlements
    • Parenting plans and residential schedules
  • Collaborative law
  • Protection orders
  • Adoption
  • Third-party custody
  • Same-sex partnerships
  • Unmarried couples

Our divorce attorneys value diversity and embraces an expansive definition of family.

Divorce and Dissolution

Divorce can be a painful and difficult process, both emotionally and financially. Court orders in divorce cases can have far-reaching and sometimes permanent effects in the lives of the people involved. Judges make decisions about the most sensitive and personal aspects of family life: the children, child support, and the division of assets and debts.

Carey & Lillevik recognize that each divorce is unique and respect our clients’ goals and interests. While some cases require significant litigation, many others settle favorably through negotiation. If you are facing a divorce, our attorneys can guide you thoughtfully through the process and provide effective representation.

Child Support and Modifications

Child support law in Washington State is theoretically friendly to the needs of children. The law requires that the parents pay expenses and the costs of living. Before a divorce is finalized, the court must determine child support. The level of support must be fair to all parties involved.
Because families are dynamic, it may become necessary to adjust support, custody, and parenting plan orders to meet your family’s specific needs. Parenting plans must be made in a court order through a modification process.

If you need to:

  • Establish a support order
  • Enforce an existing order
  • Modify an existing order
  • Respond to child-support modification action

Carey & Lillevik can help. Our attorneys are experienced in child support litigation, and have represented numerous clients in modification, contempt, and divorce proceedings.

Parenting Plans and Residential Schedules

Legal separation and divorce can create a chaotic situation when children are involved. For married couples, Washington State requires the completion of a parenting plan before granting a divorce. For non-married couples, the court requires a residential schedule. A parenting plan or residential schedule details custody and visitation. The plan or schedule also outlines directives for making important decisions, such as holiday schedules and transportation arrangements. These plans and schedules can be as unique as the families they involve. It’s critical to engage an attorney who will skillfully:

  • Articulate your needs
  • Negotiate for your objectives
  • Litigate for your rights in the plan or schedule, if necessary

If you are faced with the creation of a parenting plan or residential schedule, don’t struggle through it alone. As seasoned litigators and creative negotiators, Carey & Lillevik recognize the uniqueness in each parenting situation and plan.

Adoption

Adoption is an exciting time of change and growth. But there is much more involved than adding a new member to your family. An attorney can facilitate the legal process, so you can focus on the joys of welcoming your new family member.

Agency Adoptions

Many families use an adoption agency to add to their family. If this is your choice, the agency will require a homestudy and investigations that prove you are a fit parent. You then file a petition for adoption with the court. An adoption lawyer can prepare and process your adoption paperwork so that your day in court is one of celebration and smooth transition

Termination of Parental Rights in Adoption

Sometimes, a potential adoptive parent wants to adopt a child who already has a legal parent or parents. Typically, this occurs in step-parent and foster parent adoptions. In such cases, the parent must terminate their rights before the adoption can take place. If a parent agrees to relinquish their parental rights the adoption process can progress smoothly. Without an agreement to relinquish parental rights, the process becomes difficult and complicated.

Carey & Lillevik has experience in adoption and in termination/relinquishment of parental rights. We appreciate that adoption involves highly personal decisions and potentially complex legal issues. We are prepared to provide you with capable and effective counsel during all stages of adoption proceedings.

Collaborative Law

Collaborative law is a method of resolving family law cases out of court. This method avoids painful adversarial proceedings associated with litigation. Collaborative law seeks to find common ground through compromise, consideration, and free flow of information. In an ideal collaborative situation, parties and their attorneys work together as a team to resolve disputes.

There are many benefits to employing collaborative law, but it is not for everyone. The parties must understand the significant risks and compromises inherent in this method. Attorneys at Carey & Lillevik are trained and experienced in collaborative law and can help you decide if it is right for you.

Legal Separation

Some couples prefer a temporary period of legal separation prior to a divorce. In Washington State, a legal separation is similar to a divorce. Legal separations typically result in court orders that direct parenting plans, distribution of property and debt, and issues of financial support. The most significant difference between legal separation and divorce is that ultimately the couple remains legally married, but with court orders in place.

If you are considering a legal separation, a Carey & Lillevik attorney can help you determine whether it’s appropriate for your situation and advocate for orders that favor your needs.

Non-Parental Custody

A person other than a parent may seek custody or visitation with a child. However, courts defer to parents, and recognize their fundamental constitutional rights to parent their own children.

In third-party custody cases, it is possible to serve the best interests of the child by granting custody to a non-parent. In these cases, the parents are deemed unfit or neither of the parents have physical custody of the child. The standard required for obtaining third-party custody is difficult to meet.

If you are involved with a third-party custody case, we encourage you to consult with a Carey & Lillevik attorney. Our attorneys have handled hundreds of such matters and have the experience and knowledge to effectively advise you and advocate in the best interest of the child.

Parenting Plans & Residential Schedules

Separation and divorce can create a chaotic situation when children are involved. Washington State requires the completion of a parenting plan before a court will grant a divorce. The court requires a residential schedule for non-married couples. A parenting plan or residential schedule covers custody and visitation as well as directives on which parent makes important decisions regarding decision-making, holiday schedules, and transportation arrangements. Parenting plans may be as unique as the families involved in them, which is why it is important to have an attorney who will skillfully articulate your needs, negotiate for your goals and, if necessary, litigate for your rights in the parenting plan.

At Carey & Lillevik, we are seasoned litigators and negotiators. We understand that each parenting situation is unique and that each case requires unique solutions in the parenting plan. If you are facing the creation of a parenting plan as part of a divorce or legal separation, we encourage you not to forge into it alone. Our attorneys at Carey & Lillevik are thoughtful, creative and experienced in this area.

Protection Orders

If you are in immediate danger, call the police.

At Carey & Lillevik, we appreciate the sensitive life circumstances that lead to filing a protection order. If you are seeking a protection order, or if someone has filed for a protection order against you, retain an attorney who will effectively articulate your position to the court. In cases that involve domestic violence, it is highly recommended that both parties seek legal representation to resolve the conflict and facilitate a more effective solution.

Same-sex Relationships

Washington State constantly changes the laws regarding the rights and responsibilities of people in same-sex relationships. In establishing a legal relationship with a partner, fluency in this burgeoning area of the law is critical. At Carey & Lillevik, we help couples create a life together and plan for the unexpected. This can encompass issues such as:

  • Adoption
  • Parenting
  • Visitation
  • Property division
  • Estate planning

We can help during a relationship and after one has ended. We will ensure that you, your partner, and your interests receive the respect you deserve.

Founding partners Ann Carey and Linda Lillevik are proud members of Q-Law, which is the GLBT bar association in Washington, as well as the Greater Seattle Business Association, which is a GLBT business association in King County, Washington.

Unmarried Couples

In Washington, couples need not marry to have similar legal rights and responsibilities to each other as married couples, regardless of the gender of the couple. When a court finds that a stable, marital-like relationship exists, it is determined to be a meretricious relationship. To determine this, the court considers:

  • Cohabitation
  • Duration and purpose of the relationship
  • Pooling of resources and services for joint projects
  • Intent of each person

If the relationship is found to be meretricious, the court will take divide property and debt, guided by the community property laws of Washington State.

Carey & Lillevik can help you define and protect yourself and your relationship. We can also determine whether your relationship is a meretricious relationship and assist you in retaining your rights to property.

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Education Law

Basic education is a right in Washington State. Educational issues are often interconnected with the challenges in juvenile court. Carey & Lillevik has experience to identify and creatively solve the underlying causes of school problems. If agreements are not possible, they have represented youth and parents in education cases against the school district.

Three areas of law with which Carey & Lillevik can assist you are:

  1. School discipline
    If a child is suspended or expelled, parents and students need an advocate to navigate the due process and alternative solutions that federal and state laws provide.
  2. Special education
    A child with a disability can be accommodated with an Individualized Education Plan.
  3. Truancy
    By law, children between the ages of 8 and 18 must attend school. If a juvenile “skips” school 7 times in a month or 10 times during the school year, the school district is required to file a truancy petition on the child and/or the parents. The court will often attempt to compel the youth to attend school. Carey & Lillevik can help you understand the underlying issues leading to truancy.

Issues involving a child or youth are complex and have lasting effects. It is important to have an experienced and able attorney to help you navigate this area of law.

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Estate Planning

Estate planning is a way of managing your affairs both during your life and after death. It establishes legal recognition of your personal relationships.

Planning for the future eases your mind and avoids potential conflicts. It is comforting to know you are providing for your family. Carey & Lillevik can walk you through the necessary documents and help you begin the relevant conversations with your family. Preparation eases some of the stress that can come with unexpected and foreseen circumstances.

Wills

If you fail to leave a will, complex law distributes your assets; a law that does not take your wishes into account. A will dictates how to disperse your assets, and helps to avoid family conflict during an already difficult time period.

Wills may also include trust and guardianship provisions regarding minor children. Taking care of your children is essential in preparing your estate, particularly if you are in a same-sex or unmarried relationship. These are decisions best made by you and planned for on paper.

Powers of Attorney

Granting someone a Power of Attorney allows another to act on your behalf. There is great flexibility available regarding the extent to which another may exercise the Power of Attorney, or allow broad financial or healthcare decision making authority. You can choose two different people for these powers if you prefer.

In most Power of Attorney relationships, the power ends if you become incapacitated. However, you can specify whether the power should continue should you become unable to make your own decisions. This is generally referred to as a Durable Power of Attorney.

A person must be competent to sign a Power of Attorney. If you are faced with a person who is not legally competent, you should consider whether Guardianship is an appropriate solution.

Health Care Directives

You may wish to document your needs or preferences regarding medical services, in the event that you become unable to articulate them yourself. A Living Will, also known as a Directive to Physicians, outlines your preferences regarding medical treatment. This frees your family from having to make difficult decisions in the event of your incapacitation.

Washington law requires certain language in a health care directive to be valid. It must be witnessed by two people, each of which is neither a family member nor health care professional. You should also make sure that the right people have a copy of this document, including members of your family, your doctors and hospital.

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Proudly serving the entire state of Washington including but not limited to:
the Greater Seattle Area, Bellevue, Redmond, Renton, Kent, Edmonds,
Everett, Tacoma and King, Snohomish, Pierce, and Kitsap Counties

The Tower Building, 1809 Seventh Avenue, Suite 1609, Seattle Washington 98101
206-859-4550
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