Child Custody in West Virginia
West Virginia parents who are divorcing or splitting up will need to come to agreement on key issues related to custody, visitation and child support for their minor children. Each parent should be represented by a child custody attorney, who can help parents negotiate, create a plan and present it to the appropriate West Virginia Family Court judge for approval.
Five Things to Know About W.V. Child Custody Law
If you're a West Virginia parent who is dealing with issues related to child custody and support, here are five important things to know:
- Parents are expected to come up with a parenting plan that outlines how child custody and visitation will be handled. This plan must be presented to a West Virginia Family Court judge for review and approval.
- If the parents cannot reach a mutually agreeable parenting plan, a parent may submit an individual plan to the court. The judge will ultimately approve a plan that he or she believes is in the best interests of the child.
- West Virginia law prefers that parents reach a shared parenting arrangement. According to state law, "'Basic shared parenting' means an arrangement under which one parent keeps a child or children overnight for less than thirty-five percent of the year and under which both parents contribute to the expenses of the child or children in addition to the payment of child support. 'Extended shared parenting' means an arrangement under which each parent keeps a child or children overnight for more than thirty-five percent of the year and under which both parents contribute to the expenses of the child or children in addition to the payment of child support."
- Parents who were not married or living together at the time their child was born may have to establish paternity of the child before child custody can be determined and a child support order can be created.
- Both parents are expected to contribute to the financial costs of raising a child. Typically this means that one parent will have to pay child support to the other parent.
Find & Hire Local West Virginia Child Custody Attorneys
Attorneys.com offers a free, no-obligation service that can connect you with child custody attorneys in your area. Call us at 877-913-7222 to get started. Whether you live in Charleston, Huntington, Parkersburg or elsewhere in West Virginia, we'll quickly match you with a local family law lawyer.