West Virginia Child Custody and Child Visitation
Courts in West Virginia hope that parents can minimize the emotional impact on a child by amicably coming to a resolution on child custody and child visitation issues. These are two of the most important issues that separated parents must address. If parents are unable to come to a resolution, then courts will intervene and make the difficult decisions for the parents based on the best interests of the child involved. Courts will assess a number of factors provided by West Virginia law when deciding what is in the child's best interests. To gain help in understanding West Virginia child custody and child visitation law, it is highly recommended that one consult a West Virginia child custody attorney.
West Virginia Child Custody
West Virginia courts award child custody in accordance with the commonly used best interests of the child standard. The following factors will be assessed when determining what is in the best interests of the child:
A parent seeking child custody in West Virginia will submit a parenting plan to the court that will outline each parent's rights and responsibilities under his or her custody plan. The court will evaluate these custody plans and make an assessment of the child's best interests. Ultimately, courts will create a final custody order after this evaluation and assessment. Once a custody order is created, it generally cannot be altered unless there has been a change of circumstances warranting a change to serve the best interests of the child.
If one of the parties desires, they can request that the court investigate and report on the current custody of the child. The investigator may consult with and obtain information from medical, psychiatric, and other expert persons who have served the child. The report may be used in future proceedings to alter the original custody order.
The importance of child custody proceedings makes it essential that you be prepared to make the best case possible. This can be achieved by hiring a West Virginia child custody attorney.
West Virginia Child Visitation Rights
West Virginia courts will grant visitation rights to noncustodial parents and nonparents. Visitation rights refer to a person's right to visit and spend time with the child. A noncustodial parent will typically receive reasonable child visitation, unless granting such visitation rights would be against the child's best interests.
Grandparents may petition to receive visitation rights in West Virginia. If a court finds that it is in the child's best interests, then the grandparent is entitled to reasonable visitation rights. The following factors are assessed to determine whether granting the grandparent visitation rights is in the child's best interests:
Whether you are a parent, grandparent, or other individual attempting to receive visitation rights in West Virginia, it is important that you are adequately prepared for your child visitation proceeding. Therefore, it is recommended that you consult a West Virginia child custody lawyer with experience in child visitation procedures.
West Virginia Statutes