Divorce West Virginia Custody

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Divorce is a process that provides a legal termination to any marital relationship on the basis of definite set of laws and rights of the state. At the same time, several marital or family issues are also meant to be sorted before the final dissolution of the marriage. There are several common issues involved with most of the cases. The child custody is one such issue that is carefully resolved as per the state laws and policies. Similarly, even in West Virginia state, this child custody matter is generally resolved by considering the personal interest of the child. During the no fault divorce, the divorcing partners reach the final agreement by resolving all issues like child custody or support on their own. It is always desirable if the parents draft the child custody arrangements between themselves and do not leave this decision to the discretion of the courts. While fulfilling the legal formalities associated with child custody in West Virginia, the parents who aim to reach an agreement should bear in mind that mediation is a cost effective option in this regard. It helps to promote good relations between the parents. On the other hand, assistance of any third party can significantly contribute for conducting an organized and smooth divorce between two individuals.

Best Interests of the Child during Child Custody Proceedings

The court intends to achieve the best interests of the child. This is because the personal interest of the child greatly impacts on the court's final decision about child custody matter. The court tries to facilitate some specific conditions in order to provide a justifiable decision to the concerned divorcing parties:

  • Protecting the child from getting exposed to emotional or physical trauma
  • The court firstly determines the residents of both the divorcing spouses during the legal proceedings. Later, as per the suitability and comfort of the minor children, appropriate residence of the custodial parent is finalized for the child. The court makes sure that definite conditions like the requirements of the child and presence of caring individual, etc., should be taken care off.
  • Strong bonding between the father as well as the mother and the child separately.
  • Parental agreement and planning pertaining to the custodial arrangements and upbringing of the child.
  • Mental stability of the child

The above points have been stated in West Virginia Code, Section 48-9-101 and 102.

Types of Custody Followed in West Virginia Divorce

Basically, there are three types of child custody arrangements followed in this state:

  • Temporary Custody: The court awards a certain plan till the final custody arrangement is worked out in the court.
  • Legal Custody: This is the right of a parent(s) to make decisions about child rearing, education and health issues.
  • Physical Custody: This is the right of a parent(s) to keep the child along with him or her after obtaining divorce.

In this state, each divorcing parent has got visitation rights with the child. However, in some extreme cases (like those of child abuse and drug use), there is a need of supervised visitation.

West Virginia promotes the "shared custody model". As per the rules of this model, each parent is assigned almost the same duration of time with his/her child as was present in the marriage or any other plan.

Information Regarding the Parenting Plan

The office of the family court's judge is the venue where one can procure a parenting plan form. In order to draft a parenting plan, the parents need to talk regarding the following issues:

  • Is there any necessity that there should be some restrictions on one or both the divorcing parents regarding their involvement with the child? If yes, which are the restrictions that need to be imposed?
  • Which are the major decisions to be taken? Which of these would be made by the father or the mother and which would be shared?
  • What should be the mode of communication between the father and mother pertaining to parenting concerns?
  • What terms must be set for telephonic contact between the child and each parent?
  • The work schedule and commitments of the parent may bring some occasional modifications in the parenting plan. How should the divorcing parents manage such conditions?
  • At what location should the parents exchange the child? How to manage this transportation?
  • Where would the child stay during non school and school times as well as during vacations and holidays?

Child custody in West Virginia entails several necessary conditions that are to be satisfied by the concerned divorcing parties. One significant advantage of getting divorce in this state is that three different types of child custody are granted depending upon the circumstances that exist between the divorcing individuals and their children.

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