Legal Services

YWCA Legal Service Line: (253) 365-6352

Our team of legal advocates and attorneys provide free civil legal advocacy, representation, and referral to survivors of domestic violence with civil legal issues in Pierce County. This combination of services increases victims' chances of permanently and safely ending their domestic violence relationship and establishing lives free of violence.

YWCA Pierce County's Legal program is able to help individuals experiencing domestic violence with a wide variety of related legal issues including:


•  Divorce/Legal Separation

•  Child Custody/Parenting Plans

•  Child Support

•  Spousal Maintenance

•  Modifications

•  Contempt

•  Paternity

•  Address Confidentiality Program

•  Protection Orders
 

Unfortunately, we cannot assist with the following types of legal issues:

•  Landlord/Tenant

•  Third Party Custody

•  Dependency/CPS cases

•  Tax Issues

•  Criminal Defense

•  Small Claims Court

 •  Bankruptcy

 

Frequently Asked Questions

If I am interested in services, how do I start?
Please call (253) 365-6352 Monday-Friday from 8:00 am – 4:30 pm to complete an intake over the phone.

What does it mean to work with a legal advocate?
A legal advocate is someone who is knowledgeable about the legal system, about domestic violence, and about the intersection between the two. When you work with a legal advocate, you are representing yourself in your case, but you have the support and knowledge of the advocate to help guide you.


Legal Advocates can:

•  Help you understand your legal options

•  Help you determine your next legal step

•  Provide documents relevant to the legal action you decide to take

•  Assist you in understanding how to navigate the legal system

•  Provide limited court support

•  Help you obtain the knowledge and resources necessary to represent yourself

Legal Advocates cannot:

•  Give legal advice

•  Do your paperwork for you

•  Speak for you in court

Can you provide me a free attorney?
Maybe. We do have attorneys that provide free representation, however we cannot guarantee attorney representation to every client. Attorney representation is on a case-by-case basis. You may request a referral to an attorney, and it is their choice whether or not to take your case for representation. They may want to meet with you before deciding whether to take your case. You must call to complete an intake before you can be referred to an attorney.

Is there a charge for any of your services?
No.

Do I need an appointment?
Yes, you do need an appointment for all services.

What should I bring to my appointment?
Please bring the following to your appointment, if possible:


• Financial documentation (paystubs, tax returns, DSHS award letters)

• Information about property and debts

•  Documentation of domestic violence if available (photos, police reports, medical records, statements) – please note we understand that there is not always documentation of DV

•  Documentation of concerns you may have for the other parent (for family law cases)

What if my case is not in Pierce County – can you still help me?
Unfortunately, we are only able to assist with cases in Pierce County. Local court rules and procedures vary from county to county and state to state, and we are only experts on how things work in Pierce County! We can try to help you find resources in the county your case is in. We recommend searching for legal aid or for domestic violence programs with legal services in that county.


CLEAR 1-888-201-1014

Tacoma Pierce County Bar Association Volunteer Legal Services (253) 572-5134

Pierce County Court Facilitator 253-798-3627

Washington State Law Help (information only, no direct services)

Tacoma Community House  253-383-3951

Northwest Immigrant Rights Project Phone: 206-587-4009/ Toll Free: 800-445-5771

Washington State Bar Association Moderate Means Program

Washington Court Forms (print off pattern court forms for your case)

Protection Orders
YWCA Pierce County has a kiosk for filing Domestic Violence Protection Orders, where you can file a petition for a Domestic Violence Protection Order in a comfortable space with the help of a legal advocate. 

*You must complete an intake prior to receiving any services, including filing a protection order. Please call YWCA Pierce County’s Legal line at (253) 365-6352 between 8:00am and 4:30pm Monday through Friday to complete an intake and schedule an appointment.