How Is Child Custody Determined in West Virginia?

Whether you are going through a divorce or otherwise have cause for concern regarding the custody of a minor child in West Virginia, it is important to understand how the legal system determines who is granted custody of dependent children. In some cases, custody changes several times throughout the child’s life as the circumstances of the parents’ lives change. This is not ideal, but for many it is a reality.

Custody and Job Loss, Remarriage, Relocation, and Death of a Parent

If a job loss, catastrophe, relocation, remarriage, death of a parent, or other major event is affecting one or both parents, it is wise to review the child custody laws. It is important to remember that even some of these tough situations do not constitute just cause for a custody modification, so it is critical to understand exactly how the law applies. We are here to help. Contact Isner Law Office for a personalized consultation to help ensure that your child is where he or she should be. Call: 304-636-7681.

What Does “The Best Interests of the Child” Mean?

The most important consideration for the court is what is in the “Best Interests of the Child.” Several factors are relevant to this determination; however, in all cases, unless there is clear evidence to indicate otherwise, a joint custody arrangement of some type is preferred. Access to both parents is considered ideal. Some of the most heavily weighted factors used to make a decision regarding the child’s best interests include:

1. Each parent’s previous level of involvement in handling child-rearing responsibilities
2. The ongoing stability of the child
3. The physical and emotional well-being of the child
4. Which parent is most likely to promote regular contact between the child and the other parent
5. The wishes of the child
6. Previous arrangements for custody

Depending on the specifics of each individual case, several dozen factors may be considered when determining child custody. At Isner Law Office, we know how important your child custody case is – and how important your child is to you. Do not take chances. Contact our experienced legal team for assistance with all aspects of your case from filing for custody to developing a parenting agreement, negotiating changes, modifications, and more. Call: 304-636-7681.