RCW 26.10.160


Visitation rights -- Limitations.

(1) A parent not granted custody of the child is entitled to reasonable visitation rights except as provided in subsection (2) of this section.

(2)(a) Visitation with the child shall be limited if it is found that the parent seeking visitation has engaged in any of the following conduct: (i) Willful abandonment that continues for an extended period of time or substantial refusal to perform parenting functions; (ii) physical, sexual, or a pattern of emotional abuse of a child; (iii) a history of acts of domestic violence as defined in RCW 26.50.010(1) or an assault or sexual assault which causes grievous bodily harm or the fear of such harm; or (iv) the parent has been convicted as an adult of a sex offense under:

(A) RCW 9A.44.076 if, because of the difference in age between the offender and the victim, no rebuttable presumption exists under (d) of this subsection;

(B) RCW 9A.44.079 if, because of the difference in age between the offender and the victim, no rebuttable presumption exists under (d) of this subsection;

(C) RCW 9A.44.086 if, because of the difference in age between the offender and the victim, no rebuttable presumption exists under (d) of this subsection;

(D) RCW 9A.44.089;

(E) RCW 9A.44.093;

(F) RCW 9A.44.096;

(G) RCW 9A.64.020 (1) or (2) if, because of the difference in age between the offender and the victim, no rebuttable presumption exists under (d) of this subsection;

(H) Chapter 9.68A RCW;

(I) Any predecessor or antecedent statute for the offenses listed in (a)(iv)(A) through (H) of this subsection;

(J) Any statute from any other jurisdiction that describes an offense analogous to the offenses listed in (a)(iv)(A) through (H) of this subsection.

This subsection (2)(a) shall not apply when (c) or (d) of this subsection applies.

(b) The parent's visitation with the child shall be limited if it is found that the parent resides with a person who has engaged in any of the following conduct: (i) Physical, sexual, or a pattern of emotional abuse of a child; (ii) a history of acts of domestic violence as defined in RCW 26.50.010(1) or an assault or sexual assault that causes grievous bodily harm or the fear of such harm; or (iii) the person has been convicted as an adult or as a juvenile has been adjudicated of a sex offense under:

(A) RCW 9A.44.076 if, because of the difference in age between the offender and the victim, no rebuttable presumption exists under (e) of this subsection;

(B) RCW 9A.44.079 if, because of the difference in age between the offender and the victim, no rebuttable presumption exists under (e) of this subsection;

(C) RCW 9A.44.086 if, because of the difference in age between the offender and the victim, no rebuttable presumption exists under (e) of this subsection;

(D) RCW 9A.44.089;

(E) RCW 9A.44.093;

(F) RCW 9A.44.096;

(G) RCW 9A.64.020 (1) or (2) if, because of the difference in age between the offender and the victim, no rebuttable presumption exists under (e) of this subsection;

(H) Chapter 9.68A RCW;

(I) Any predecessor or antecedent statute for the offenses listed in (b)(iii)(A) through (H) of this subsection;

(J) Any statute from any other jurisdiction that describes an offense analogous to the offenses listed in (b)(iii)(A) through (H) of this subsection.

This subsection (2)(b) shall not apply when (c) or (e) of this subsection applies.

(c) If a parent has been found to be a sexual predator under chapter 71.09 RCW or under an analogous statute of any other jurisdiction, the court shall restrain the parent from contact with a child that would otherwise be allowed under this chapter. If a parent resides with an adult or a juvenile who has been found to be a sexual predator under chapter 71.09 RCW or under an analogous statute of any other jurisdiction, the court shall restrain the parent from contact with the parent's child except contact that occurs outside that person's presence.

(d) There is a rebuttable presumption that a parent who has been convicted as an adult of a sex offense listed in (d)(i) through (ix) of this subsection poses a present danger to a child. Unless the parent rebuts this presumption, the court shall restrain the parent from contact with a child that would otherwise be allowed under this chapter:

(i) RCW 9A.64.020 (1) or (2), provided that the person convicted was at least five years older than the other person;

(ii) RCW 9A.44.073;

(iii) RCW 9A.44.076, provided that the person convicted was at least eight years older than the victim;

(iv) RCW 9A.44.079, provided that the person convicted was at least eight years older than the victim;

(v) RCW 9A.44.083;

(vi) RCW 9A.44.086, provided that the person convicted was at least eight years older than the victim;

(vii) RCW 9A.44.100;

(viii) Any predecessor or antecedent statute for the offenses listed in (d)(i) through (vii) of this subsection;

(ix) Any statute from any other jurisdiction that describes an offense analogous to the offenses listed in (d)(i) through (vii) of this subsection.

(e) There is a rebuttable presumption that a parent who resides with a person who, as an adult, has been convicted, or as a juvenile has been adjudicated, of the sex offenses listed in (e)(i) through (ix) of this subsection places a child at risk of abuse or harm when that parent exercises visitation in the presence of the convicted or adjudicated person. Unless the parent rebuts the presumption, the court shall restrain the parent from contact with the parent's child except for contact that occurs outside of the convicted or adjudicated person's presence:

(i) RCW 9A.64.020 (1) or (2), provided that the person convicted was at least five years older than the other person;

(ii) RCW 9A.44.073;

(iii) RCW 9A.44.076, provided that the person convicted was at least eight years older than the victim;

(iv) RCW 9A.44.079, provided that the person convicted was at least eight years older than the victim;

(v) RCW 9A.44.083;

(vi) RCW 9A.44.086, provided that the person convicted was at least eight years older than the victim;

(vii) RCW 9A.44.100;

(viii) Any predecessor or antecedent statute for the offenses listed in (e)(i) through (vii) of this subsection;

(ix) Any statute from any other jurisdiction that describes an offense analogous to the offenses listed in (e)(i) through (vii) of this subsection.

(f) The presumption established in (d) of this subsection may be rebutted only after a written finding that:

(i) If the child was not the victim of the sex offense committed by the parent requesting visitation, (A) contact between the child and the offending parent is appropriate and poses minimal risk to the child, and (B) the offending parent has successfully engaged in treatment for sex offenders or is engaged in and making progress in such treatment, if any was ordered by a court, and the treatment provider believes such contact is appropriate and poses minimal risk to the child; or

(ii) If the child was the victim of the sex offense committed by the parent requesting visitation, (A) contact between the child and the offending parent is appropriate and poses minimal risk to the child, (B) if the child is in or has been in therapy for victims of sexual abuse, the child's counselor believes such contact between the child and the offending parent is in the child's best interest, and (C) the offending parent has successfully engaged in treatment for sex offenders or is engaged in and making progress in such treatment, if any was ordered by a court, and the treatment provider believes such contact is appropriate and poses minimal risk to the child.

(g) The presumption established in (e) of this subsection may be rebutted only after a written finding that:

(i) If the child was not the victim of the sex offense committed by the person who is residing with the parent requesting visitation, (A) contact between the child and the parent residing with the convicted or adjudicated person is appropriate and that parent is able to protect the child in the presence of the convicted or adjudicated person, and (B) the convicted or adjudicated person has successfully engaged in treatment for sex offenders or is engaged in and making progress in such treatment, if any was ordered by a court, and the treatment provider believes such contact is appropriate and poses minimal risk to the child; or

(ii) If the child was the victim of the sex offense committed by the person who is residing with the parent requesting visitation, (A) contact between the child and the parent in the presence of the convicted or adjudicated person is appropriate and poses minimal risk to the child, (B) if the child is in or has been in therapy for victims of sexual abuse, the child's counselor believes such contact between the child and the parent residing with the convicted or adjudicated person in the presence of the convicted or adjudicated person is in the child's best interest, and (C) the convicted or adjudicated person has successfully engaged in treatment for sex offenders or is engaged in and making progress in such treatment, if any was ordered by a court, and the treatment provider believes contact between the parent and child in the presence of the convicted or adjudicated person is appropriate and poses minimal risk to the child.

(h) If the court finds that the parent has met the burden of rebutting the presumption under (f) of this subsection, the court may allow a parent who has been convicted as an adult of a sex offense listed in (d)(i) through (ix) of this subsection to have visitation with the child supervised by a neutral and independent adult and pursuant to an adequate plan for supervision of such visitation. The court shall not approve of a supervisor for contact between the child and the parent unless the court finds, based on the evidence, that the supervisor is willing and capable of protecting the child from harm. The court shall revoke court approval of the supervisor upon finding, based on the evidence, that the supervisor has failed to protect the child or is no longer willing or capable of protecting the child.

(i) If the court finds that the parent has met the burden of rebutting the presumption under (g) of this subsection, the court may allow a parent residing with a person who has been adjudicated as a juvenile of a sex offense listed in (e)(i) through (ix) of this subsection to have visitation with the child in the presence of the person adjudicated as a juvenile, supervised by a neutral and independent adult and pursuant to an adequate plan for supervision of such visitation. The court shall not approve of a supervisor for contact between the child and the parent unless the court finds, based on the evidence, that the supervisor is willing and capable of protecting the child from harm. The court shall revoke court approval of the supervisor upon finding, based on the evidence, that the supervisor has failed to protect the child or is no longer willing or capable of protecting the child.

(j) If the court finds that the parent has met the burden of rebutting the presumption under (g) of this subsection, the court may allow a parent residing with a person who, as an adult, has been convicted of a sex offense listed in (e)(i) through (ix) of this subsection to have visitation with the child in the presence of the convicted person supervised by a neutral and independent adult and pursuant to an adequate plan for supervision of such visitation. The court shall not approve of a supervisor for contact between the child and the parent unless the court finds, based on the evidence, that the supervisor is willing and capable of protecting the child from harm. The court shall revoke court approval of the supervisor upon finding, based on the evidence, that the supervisor has failed to protect the child or is no longer willing or capable of protecting the child.

(k) A court shall not order unsupervised contact between the offending parent and a child of the offending parent who was sexually abused by that parent. A court may order unsupervised contact between the offending parent and a child who was not sexually abused by the parent after the presumption under (d) of this subsection has been rebutted and supervised visitation has occurred for at least two years with no further arrests or convictions of sex offenses involving children under chapter 9A.44 RCW, RCW 9A.64.020, or chapter 9.68A RCW and (i) the sex offense of the offending parent was not committed against a child of the offending parent, and (ii) the court finds that unsupervised contact between the child and the offending parent is appropriate and poses minimal risk to the child, after consideration of the testimony of a state-certified therapist, mental health counselor, or social worker with expertise in treating child sexual abuse victims who has supervised at least one period of visitation between the parent and the child, and after consideration of evidence of the offending parent's compliance with community supervision requirements, if any. If the offending parent was not ordered by a court to participate in treatment for sex offenders, then the parent shall obtain a psychosexual evaluation conducted by a certified sex offender treatment provider or a certified affiliate sex offender treatment provider indicating that the offender has the lowest likelihood of risk to reoffend before the court grants unsupervised contact between the parent and a child.

(l) A court may order unsupervised contact between the parent and a child which may occur in the presence of a juvenile adjudicated of a sex offense listed in (e)(i) through (ix) of this subsection who resides with the parent after the presumption under (e) of this subsection has been rebutted and supervised visitation has occurred for at least two years during which time the adjudicated juvenile has had no further arrests, adjudications, or convictions of sex offenses involving children under chapter 9A.44 RCW, RCW 9A.64.020, or chapter 9.68A RCW, and (i) the court finds that unsupervised contact between the child and the parent that may occur in the presence of the adjudicated juvenile is appropriate and poses minimal risk to the child, after consideration of the testimony of a state-certified therapist, mental health counselor, or social worker with expertise in treatment of child sexual abuse victims who has supervised at least one period of visitation between the parent and the child in the presence of the adjudicated juvenile, and after consideration of evidence of the adjudicated juvenile's compliance with community supervision or parole requirements, if any. If the adjudicated juvenile was not ordered by a court to participate in treatment for sex offenders, then the adjudicated juvenile shall obtain a psychosexual evaluation conducted by a certified sex offender treatment provider or a certified affiliate sex offender treatment provider indicating that the adjudicated juvenile has the lowest likelihood of risk to reoffend before the court grants unsupervised contact between the parent and a child which may occur in the presence of the adjudicated juvenile who is residing with the parent.

(m)(i) The limitations imposed by the court under (a) or (b) of this subsection shall be reasonably calculated to protect the child from the physical, sexual, or emotional abuse or harm that could result if the child has contact with the parent requesting visitation. If the court expressly finds based on the evidence that limitations on visitation with the child will not adequately protect the child from the harm or abuse that could result if the child has contact with the parent requesting visitation, the court shall restrain the person seeking visitation from all contact with the child.

(ii) The court shall not enter an order under (a) of this subsection allowing a parent to have contact with a child if the parent has been found by clear and convincing evidence in a civil action or by a preponderance of the evidence in a dependency action to have sexually abused the child, except upon recommendation by an evaluator or therapist for the child that the child is ready for contact with the parent and will not be harmed by the contact. The court shall not enter an order allowing a parent to have contact with the child in the offender's presence if the parent resides with a person who has been found by clear and convincing evidence in a civil action or by a preponderance of the evidence in a dependency action to have sexually abused a child, unless the court finds that the parent accepts that the person engaged in the harmful conduct and the parent is willing to and capable of protecting the child from harm from the person.

(iii) If the court limits visitation under (a) or (b) of this subsection to require supervised contact between the child and the parent, the court shall not approve of a supervisor for contact between a child and a parent who has engaged in physical, sexual, or a pattern of emotional abuse of the child unless the court finds based upon the evidence that the supervisor accepts that the harmful conduct occurred and is willing to and capable of protecting the child from harm. The court shall revoke court approval of the supervisor upon finding, based on the evidence, that the supervisor has failed to protect the child or is no longer willing to or capable of protecting the child.

(n) If the court expressly finds based on the evidence that contact between the parent and the child will not cause physical, sexual, or emotional abuse or harm to the child and that the probability that the parent's or other person's harmful or abusive conduct will recur is so remote that it would not be in the child's best interests to apply the limitations of (a), (b), and (m)(i) and (iii) of this subsection, or if the court expressly finds that the parent's conduct did not have an impact on the child, then the court need not apply the limitations of (a), (b), and (m)(i) and (iii) of this subsection. The weight given to the existence of a protection order issued under chapter 26.50 RCW as to domestic violence is within the discretion of the court. This subsection shall not apply when (c), (d), (e), (f), (g), (h), (i), (j), (k), (l), and (m)(ii) of this subsection apply.

(3) Any person may petition the court for visitation rights at any time including, but not limited to, custody proceedings. The court may order visitation rights for any person when visitation may serve the best interest of the child whether or not there has been any change of circumstances.

(4) The court may modify an order granting or denying visitation rights whenever modification would serve the best interests of the child. Modification of a parent's visitation rights shall be subject to the requirements of subsection (2) of this section.

(5) For the purposes of this section:

(a) "A parent's child" means that parent's natural child, adopted child, or stepchild; and

(b) "Social worker" means a person with a master's or further advanced degree from a social work educational program accredited and approved as provided in RCW 18.320.010.

[2011 c 89 7; 2004 c 38 13; 1996 c 303 2; 1994 c 267 2; 1989 c 326 2; 1987 c 460 44.]

NOTES:

     Effective date -- 2011 c 89: See note following RCW 18.320.005.

     Findings -- 2011 c 89: See RCW 18.320.005.

     Effective date -- 2004 c 38: See note following RCW 18.155.075.

     Effective date -- 1996 c 303: See note following RCW 26.09.191.

     Effective date -- 1994 c 267: See note following RCW 26.09.191.