In West Virginia it only takes one spouse to demand a divorce and the Court WILL grant it. Grounds include legal separation, abandonment, misconduct and irreconcilable differences. There must be grounds and not all grounds involve "fault".
CHILD CUSTODY &
Your children are entitled to a relationship with both parents, if both are fit, and they must be supported financially to the level of your and your spouse's income.
There are at least 4 different forms of spousal support in West Virginia and none are a "given". In most cases, there are 20 "factors" that must be examined for qualification. My office can help you reason through the various spousal support options.
The rise of opioid addictions in West Virginia has skyrocketed and now there is a greater need for grandparents to step up and raise their grandchildren. Grandparents in their 50's, 60's, 70's and even 80's have risen to meet the need. No matter the reason for you to step up and step in for these kids, my office can help you navigate the procedure so that you can legally protect your grandchildren.
PRE & POST NUPTIAL
Prior to getting married (or in some situations, after marriage) you may want to protect your assets from the realities of division by divorce. An enforceable contract, signed by you and your soon to be spouse with full knowledge of all assets, is an effective way to shield your assets.
You can only adopt if the rights of the natural parents have been fully terminated. The adoption process will take time and it must follow specific mandated guidelines, but it is well worth it when you know what is at stake. Often a legal guardianship can become an adoption, and all for the child's best interests.
There may come a time when you need to "reopen" your divorce action to modify visitation or child support, or in some situations, spousal support. If so, there is law that permits, but also may limit, such modifications. My office can help you meet the challenges of modification.
Simply being a grandparent does not naturally grant you with rights, like visitation, with your grandchild. Sometimes you have to go to court to protect and advance your rights to a relationship with your grandchildren.
With valid reason, you have the right to appeal the decision of the West Virginia Family Court to the West Virginia Supreme Court. The process is particular but sometimes necessary. So when it is, give me a call and let's talk about your situation.
There is no "easy" divorce, especially when children and property are involved. And the process of divorce can be emotionally and mentally draining. Questions like "where will I live" or "what will happen to my children", or more simply, "what do I do now" fill your thoughts, occupy your mind and too many times, may cloud your judgment.
You may just want it all over with and have decided to give up. The hurt, pain and fear are just too much. But, it would be an absolute mistake to give up your rights in a divorce action. If your spouse wants divorced, the Court will grant it no matter how much you want to save your marriage. And if you want out of the marriage there is nothing your spouse can do to stop it from happening. It is going to happen. So, going in prepared knowing what to expect in the divorce process serves your best interests.
As to "best interests" your children's custody will be resolved by the Court, which is going to look closely at their best interests. The Court is only concerned about what is best for them. And that includes a relationship with both parents. You may be so angry at your spouse that you want to use the kids against him or her. That too would be a horrible mistake. Your kids are not missles, and turning them against the other parent will ruin them.
You may need child support, which is based on a number of factors but mostly income driven. The children are entitled to share in the income you and your spouse make as if you were still married. Knowing the Court wants both parents involved, visitation, now between two households, must also be determined and exchange points set. Your kids should always come first, so the more you and your spouse can agree for their benefit, the better. And the Court can take your agreement and make it a Shared Parenting Plan Order, which will set the rules for the two of you to care jointly for your kids.
You may need spousal support which must meet Court approval based upon 20 different "factors". You may need to fight your spouse from getting support because he or she does not qualify. And the two of you may have real estate, bank accounts, retirement accounts, savings, stocks, cars, tools, guns, furniture and jewelry that all needs divided. And it is up to the Court to state who gets what and in what amount. 50/50 is a good goal, but not always the case. "Fairness" is the goal, and the Court has the power to change ownership of assets to ensure that the marital property is divided equitably.
In your divorce case, you need someone who understands the emotional toil, but also is there for you, in your corner and standing up for your rights. You need an attorney with litigation experience that can guide you through the process, but do so in an affordable manner to you. You need someone on your side, that is determined to see your best interests presented and your kids' best interests promoted. There is no reason to go through your divorce, custody, visitation, support, or any legal guardianship or grandparent rights problem alone. . . not when there is help. So, call me, or contact me using the contact form below and let's get started moving you forward to protecting your children or grandchildren, protecting your assets and protecting your rights.
West Virginia University, BS
Marshall University, MBA
Capital University Law School, JD.
''Awesome, thank you VERY, VERY much for all you did! I appreciate you more than you'll ever know''
A.C. Wood County.
''I appreciate everything you did for me in getting me through the divorce, and the professional way you did it . . .''
C.A. Kanawha County
''You offer a class service at a fair price'' M.B. Kanawha County
''Once you gain trust in someone as your attorney . . . as I have you, it’s hard to just go into court and trust someone else to help'' T.Z. Putnam County
''Thank you again for all you’ve done for me, I appreciate the counseling and I appreciate you for the man you are'' M.C Wood County
''Mission accomplished!! Thanks for everything you did in the adoption. My son loves his new name'' J.H. Wood County
''Every time I saw you in the Courtroom I was very proud to have you as my attorney. Your grasp of the law, the issues we faced as it relates to the law, how you handled yourself on your feet, your professional manner in dealing with the other lawyers and the judges . . confirmed to me I had the best attorney present . . .'' M.B. Kanawha County.
''You helped me to have a solid ground to have the rights... to my children, I will never forget that. I appreciated all your help, my kids have come a long way and they are doing well thanks to you''
M.E. Kanawha County
''There is no way I could have gotten through this legal mess without your help. Thank you for everything'' J.C. Wood County