West Virginia Child Custody

Posted by admin on April 27th, 2006

In West Virginia the law states that either parent can be awarded custody of their children, but in most cases the primary caretaker of the children is awarded custody. There are a few factors that court will consider when deciding what is in the best interest of the children and they are as follows:

* The stability of the children in their home.

* If the parents have submitted a parenting plan or any other written agreement concerning child custody.

* The relationship of both parents and their children to continue.

* That continuing meaningful contact between both parents and the children are met.

* Placing the children’s needs above any thing else.

* Have a loving and stable environment.

* The home environment should be free of any physical or emotional harm.

* The ability to make decisions wisely regarding the rearing of the children.

* The ability for both parents to be fair with one another regarding visitation.

* The wishes of the children if they are of sufficient age.

* The wishes of the parents as to which parent that wish to have custody.

* Which parent was the primary caretaker of the children.

* If both parents will encourage the relationship of the other parent with the children.

* The adjustment the children have in their home, community, and school.

* The physical and mental health of any home in the home.

* The relationship the children have with both parents, their siblings and others living in the home.

* Domestic violence.

* Drug or alcohol dependency.

Joint custody is usually preferred if both parents are willing to work together to provide what is best for their children. In some cases, the court may order parenting classes, divorce classes and even counseling for the children or the parents to aid in helping each member of the family adjust to their new lives. When it comes to joint custody you may wish to have a mediator help you and your spouse learn to communicate and resolve any disagreements that arise in the rearing of the children.

If joint custody or shared custody is not feasible the court will award custody to the parent that they believe is best suited to care for the children and the non-custodial parent will have reasonable visitation. The visitation schedule can be set up by the court or by the parents with the courts approval.

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