Welcome to Pierce County Family Court
Pierce County Family Court consists of two judicial departments, commissioners and Family Court Services (supervisor, legal assistant, case coordinator and two staff GALs). It is a team dedicated to implementing the plan for Family Court while putting into practice learned lessons to reduce conflict and timely resolve disputes involving the custody of children.
The main goals of Family Court include:
- Identify, segregate and prioritize cases involving the custody of children.
- Provide consistent and timely judicial decision-making with intensive case management, settlement conferences and education to litigants using Impact on Children seminars to speed case resolution and reduce conflict.
- Provide early judicial intervention.
Main Types of Cases
The types of cases that are in Family Court:
- Modification of Custody
- Minor Guardianships (including Termination or Modification of a Non-parental custody decree.)
- Petition for Parenting Plan/Residential Schedule
- When a Guardian ad Litem (GAL) is authorized in a matter involving parenting plans (dissolutions, legal separations, petition for residential schedule) and there is at least 90 days until the original trial date
- De Facto Parentage Petitions
- Relative Visitation Petitions
- UCCJEA hearings and Out of State Custody Registrations
Use the links below to help your understanding of Family Court procedures and processes.
Specific to Pierce County
- Tacomaprobono Community Lawyers - Maintains a small library of instructions and advice, specific to Pierce County Family Court. These materials can help you understand how to best participate in your case without an attorney. Information is being updated and added throughout 2023.
- Activity Book - Here is an activity book for children going to court.
- Noncompliance Order and Hearings - How to respond to a noncompliance order and links to documents and other sites to answer your questions.
- Parenting Seminars - Here are details regarding the approved Impact on Children Seminar required for dissolutions, modifications of custody, non-parental custody and establishment of residential schedules filed in Pierce County.
- Reuniting Your Family: You Can Make It Happen - This is a video by Pierce County Juvenile Court.
- Top Ten Ways to Protect Your Kids During your Break Up - This is a helpful book written by Dr. Joan Kelly.
- Trial Overview - Learn about going to trial without an attorney.
- Uncontested Dissolutions - Find out how you can finalize your dissolution without a trial.
- What You Need for a Family Law Trial - Read trial information for family law cases.