Child Custody & Support

There Don’t Have to Be Winners and Losers in Child Custody Cases

In the past, child custody cases in West Virginia tended to result in winners and losers. One parent received primary custody of the child or children, while the other parent (usually the husband) ended up with visitation. About seven years ago, our state changed to “shared parenting,” so often there no longer has to be a winner and a loser.

I’ve been a family law attorney in Buckhannon for more than 32 years, and about a third of my practice has been dedicated to child custody and support issues. I handle these cases both as a part of divorce as well as in paternity actions where the parents were never married. I also serve as a child custody mediator for people who are represented by other lawyers.

Shared Parenting Plans

I am a firm believer in shared parenting plans. If you and your “ex” are willing to work together and put your child’s interests first, then you can have a shared parenting plan that honors the rights of both parents.

As your lawyer, I will work closely with you and your family members to negotiate a parenting plan that works for you and takes your family’s particular circumstances into account. Whether we reach an agreement through negotiation, mediation or contested trial, I will always negotiate in good faith and do everything I can to protect your interests and goals.

Effect of Child Custody on Child Support

West Virginia will use one of three formulas to calculate the amount of child support you pay:

  • Basic formula (if you have your child less than a third of the overnight visits)
  • Extended formula (if you have your child from a third to half of the overnight visits)
  • Split child custody (if custody is split 50-50)

The more time your child spends with you, the less you pay in child support. In addition to child support, parents are responsible for sharing health care and day care expenses.

Free Lawyer Consultation

If you have questions about child custody and child support, contact me at any time for a free initial consultation. I am usually in my office near the courthouse in Buckhannon before 7 a.m. on weekdays. After hours and weekend appointments are available.