In re Marriage of Hannah v. McAdams (No. 39423-9-III) Published Opinion
In this custody case, the final parenting plan granted sole decision-making to Hannah due to McAdams’s history of domestic violence and substance abuse and included provisions for safe communication and prohibited derogatory remarks and discussion of litigation with the children.
McAdams petitioned to modify the plan, claiming a substantial change in circumstances due to his completion of domestic violence treatment and their daughter’s gender identity questions.
The Court of Appeals concluded that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in finding no adequate cause for McAdams to modify the parenting plan to request mutual decision-making.
This case will benefit survivors in WA by establishing that decision-making authority cannot be modified when there are findings of domestic violence. It clarifies that these findings apply to both original and modified parenting plans. It also recognizes the harm caused by power dynamics in joint decision-making and addresses frivolous appeals brought in bad faith.
A special thank you to FVAP Washington’s Summer Law Clerks, Brook Purtill and Michael Savell.
FVAP would like to thank the National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence, Project DVORA / Jewish Family Service, Tacomaprobono Community Lawyers, and the Network for Victim Recovery of D.C. Domestic Violence Legal Empowerment and Appeals Project (DV LEAP) for their partnership in co-signing this motion.