West Virginia Divorce Custody
Similar to divorce child custody laws as applicable all over USA, WV divorce custody guidelines are also based on protecting the best interests of the child. While awarding child custody, the following guidelines are followed:
- The parent who is capable of offering a stable community and stable family unit is preferred because courts firmly believe that a child should be nurtured in an environment of continuity and harmony. Hence, a community in which the child has been growing for some time and is used to is considered as the best environment to let him/her grow. The parent who has this edge over the other parent regarding this issue
- Joint child custody is preferred over sole custody. According to WV child custody guidelines, courts award joint custody to the parents who come out with a well-planned parenting plan. In most of the cases, such plans are “court-ordered” and the parents are also asked to participate in custody mediation before formulating the parenting plan.
- The emotional parent-child bond and which parent can provide emotional and psychological support to the child generally gets the child custody.
- WV custody laws specify that it is mandatory for the custodial parent to be fully aware of the best ways to protect the child from emotional and physical abuse. The parent, who is most capable of doing so, gets the custody of the child.
- There is a preference for the parent who has been the primary caretaker of the child and has been involved in providing meals, grooming the child maintainig dental and physical hygiene etc. However, if that parent is found to alienate the other parent from the child and does not encourage tem to interact much, then in such cases, child custody would not be given to the former. It is because WV divorce custody laws are very stringent that the child should get the parental advantage of both the parents.
- For all practical purposes, one parent gets the physical custody of the child and the other gets the visitation rights. The non-custodial parent has access to the child during weekends, holidays, summer vacations etc. Courts ask the parents to formulate a sound visitation schedule to avoid any confusion or dispute in future.
- WV child support is another important aspect that is addressed during child divorce custody cases. Both the incomes of the parents are pooled in and a proportion of it is allotted as child support. This amount is to meet the financial requirements of the child and depends on various factors such as: special educational/medical needs of the child, the lifestyle that the child is used to, other financial obligations of the parents, the number of children involved etc.