WV Child Custody Attorneys
A Trusted WV Child Custody Lawyer Offers Tips for Preparing for Your Child Custody Consultation
When it comes to your children, it is advised that you have legal representation that understands family law and will fight for you. Contact Adams Legal Group today to set up a consultation and allow our firm to help you and your family through this difficult time.
The decision to end a marriage and break up the family is not an easy one. It is no secret that the process of divorce can be especially difficult on the children. It is imperative for the adults in the situation to be sensitive to the needs of the children and to ensure that they feel safe and secure in a time when their world is drastically changing.
The custody attorneys at Adams Legal Group, PLLC understand the importance of your custody agreement. Our child custody lawyers are experienced in the area of family law and not only recognize the stress of divorce but we understand the process and legalities of custody arrangements. In representing you, West Virginia residents know to count on our team of child custody lawyers to support you through this stressful time and fight for what is best for your children.
If you have scheduled a consultation with a child custody lawyer from Adams Legal Group, PLLC. in order to discuss child custody concerns, you may be wondering how to prepare for this meeting. While you do not need to prepare in any specific ways beyond meeting any requests we have already outlined, it is understandable that you would want to make the absolute most of our time together. If you are interested in engaging in a bit more preparation in advance of our meeting, here are a few ways in which you can better ensure that our consultation is as fruitful as it can possibly be.
Questions and Concerns
It is often helpful for parents to write down any questions or concerns they have about their specific child custody situation and/or our firm’s representation. Navigating a West Virginia child custody dispute can be a uniquely stressful process. As a result, you likely have a hundred thoughts bouncing around your head at once when you contemplate your situation. Writing down questions you may have about our firm, the dispute resolution process, and your situation generally may help to ensure that you leave your consultation with all your pressing questions answered. Few things are more frustrating than returning home from a meeting only to realize that you forgot to ask an important question or raise a critical clarification.
In addition, the attorney-client relationship tends to function best when everyone is on the same page. If you have questions about the “nuts and bolts” of being one of our clients, please ask your child custody lawyer. We are happy to discuss the ways in which we handle client communication, fees and other foundational elements of this relationship.
To help think through questions you may have, here are some common questions asked about child custody hearings:
- What is the court’s role in my custody arrangement case? A West Virginia child custody lawyer can explain that the family court that processes your case has an obligation to ensure the health and well-being of the children as well as uphold the law of the state in which you live. If the parents do not agree upon an arrangement, the judge will hear both sides and then determine what is best for the children emotionally and physically. The judge will ultimately decide based on his or her impression of the child’s best interests.
- What does it mean when the court says “the child’s best interests”? Ultimately, the court will make a decision based on what has the least amount of negative impact or interruption for the child emotionally and physically. What custody arrangement will feel the most “normal” to the child? Unfortunately, the child’s daily life will change no matter what as a result of the divorce. The term “the child’s best interests” can be subjective and depends on many factors including but not limited to: primary caretaker, stable home environment, relationships with others in home, mental and physical health of parents, consistency in daily routine (i.e., school, friends and extracurricular activities), nurturing and emotional development of the child, income of parents and ability to support the household. A dedicated child custody lawyer from West Virginia will help you ensure you are taking every aspect you are involved in your child’s life into consideration prior to going to court.
- What is a primary caretaker? The primary caretaker is the person who has been responsible for the daily care of the child. This person is the one who consistently supports the child in all facets of daily routines such as feeding, bathing, bedtime, carpooling, help with homework, parent-teacher conferences, etc.
- Can the arrangement be changed? Although it is not a given that an arrangement will be modified, the court understands that things change in life such as income and living situations. A custody modification request with the court that processed the original agreement is the first step.
Another helpful step to take when preparing for your consultation is to write down your goals. In general, the family law system evaluates situations related to child custody according to the “best interests of the child” standard. This means that initial child custody determinations, the terms of child custody agreements, and any modification requests relating to existing orders will be evaluated based on this standard. As a parent, you certainly want to advocate on behalf of your child’s best interests.
So, what do these interests look like? And how can our representation help you to make these interests a reality? If we can better understand what you would like us to help you achieve, we can advise you of your legal options and our approach accordingly.
Common Child Custody Disagreements
Drawing up a child custody agreement can quickly become emotional warfare, especially if your relationship did not end amicably. Sometimes even the most amiable endings to a relationship or start to the divorce process can quickly shift to complicated and contentious situations. This is because, emotions run high. During divorce, you and your ex will be required to sort through and divide the life you once shared, this can be a difficult process to contend with. When children are involved, the process can become far more heated. Disagreement over child custody can be a common element to drafting a custody arrangement.
In addition, it’s important to note that child custody doesn’t completely resolve itself overnight. Sometimes, years down the road, disagreements may come up requiring you to seek the assistance of an West Virginia child custody lawyer to renegotiate the terms of your custody arrangement.
Adams Legal Group, PLLC has experience in managing custody agreements gone awry. Here are common disagreements families may be forced to face when it comes to child custody:
Managing the Holidays
The holidays are one of the most difficult things for parents to agree over. Chances are you have your own traditions that you would like to have your children involved in. When these compete with someone else’s (ie. the other parent) it can add fuel to an already heated argument. Having a clear agreement around how this will be managed can help prevent problems from coming up down the road.
Choosing the Primary Residence
For many couples, the person who will have physical custody over the child can feel like an obvious one. However, this may not always be the case. Some, may have difficulty in coming to a decision over where the child will reside. Some parents, may determine that it is in their child’s best interest to share physical custody over their child. As a result, a child may share their time with both parents. While there are several variations to this, it may result in the child shuffling back and forth between two homes. While this may work for a time, ultimately, a child may eventually choose to stay at one parent’s house, this may result in the need to modify the original custody agreement, especially as a child ages.
Child is Spending More Time with Non Custodial Parent
Much of the time, parents will share legal custody while one parent is likely to have physical custody of the child. But, what happens if the non custodial parent suddenly finds that their child is spending more time under their roof? Contacting an child custody lawyer in West Virginia can help to resolve this issue, especially if you are still being required to pay child support. This can be a common occurrence, especially when children become teenagers and have a preference over where they will be staying. If you find this to be the case, it may be necessary to modify your custody arrangement.
Disagreement Over Raising Your Child
For a number of parents, joint legal custody over a child is often the preferred option. Joint legal custody means that both parents share in the decision making around their child’s upbringing. While in most cases a child will remain in the physical custody of one parent, both parents have the ability to make decisions over the child’s well being. Examples of the decisions being made include:
- Medical Care
For some parents, sharing custody of a child may seem virtually impossible. If faced with this type of situation, it may make sense to modify your agreement with the courts by asking for sole custody. These can be tricky waters to navigate. Adams Legal Group, PLLC can help by taking the lead and managing the legalities so that the new agreement can be resolved as quickly as possible.
Managing disagreements over child custody can be challenging to face. The last thing many want is to stir up old feelings that had been laid to rest, especially if time has passed since drafting the original agreement. However, when a child custody agreement is not working for you or your child, it may be time to contact Adams Legal Group, PLLC to help come up with a solution that is best for all.
We Are Here to Help
When it comes to your children, it is advised that you have legal representation that understands family law and will fight for you. Contact the experienced West Virginia child custody lawyer from Adams Legal Group, PLLC. today to ask any questions or schedule a consultation.
Adams Legal Group, PLLC. is eager to help answer any questions you may have about your unique child custody situation. Each child custody lawyer West Virginia families recommend from Adams Legal Group, PLLC. is passionate about aiding parents in advocating on behalf of their children’s best interests. Whether your family’s situation is relatively straightforward or particularly complex, we will strive to construct the strongest legal strategy possible related to your circumstances. We look forward to meeting with you during your consultation, but please do not hesitate to reach out in advance of our scheduled time together if you have questions or concerns that are particularly time-sensitive.
Reasons to Revoke Visitation Rights
A West Virginia child custody lawyer understands that it can be difficult enough for a custodial parent to deal with a non-custodial parent when the relationship after a divorce is anything but friendly. There are often minor disagreements and misunderstandings that can be aggravating. However, this isn’t usually cause to ask the court to restrict or revoke the non-custodial parent’s visitation. But there are times when the noncustodial parent’s behavior threatens the child’s emotional, physical, or psychological health and this is when the court should be asked to intervene.
At Adams Legal Group, PLLC we have been helping parents with custody issues for more than 20 years and understand how stressful these situations are. Contact our firm to meet with a skilled West Virginia child custody lawyer to find out how we can help.
Reasons That Will Not Be Accepted by the Court
There are a number of reasons why the court will revoke a parent’s visitation rights, but they all focus on what is in the best interest of the child. The following are common causes of disagreements between co-parents, but they are not reasons why a judge would change a custody or visitation order:
- Communication between the two parents is not good and this has resulted in mistakes in scheduling
- The child was injured when he or she was with the noncustodial parent
- The custodial parent does not like the noncustodial parent
- The noncustodial parent is dating someone or has remarried someone the custodial parent doesn’t like
- The noncustodial parent is financially unstable
- The noncustodial parent occasionally uses foul language
Reasons That Will Be Accepted By the Court
The following reasons are strong indicators to the court that the noncustodial parent should have restricted or revoked visitation:
- Alcohol abuse
- Child abandonment
- Child abuse
- Child neglect
- Chronic disobeying of the court-ordered parenting plan
- Endangering the child’s life, either through neglect or willfully
- Parent is charged with a felony
- Parental abduction (the noncustodial parent has taken the child without permission and not in compliance with the court-ordered parenting plan
- Sexual abuse
- Substance abuse
A parent can also lose or have their visitation restricted if they falsely accuse the other parent of any of the above transgressions.
Child Custody Modification
Depending on the state you live in, the courts usually allow parents to address any changes to their parenting plan every two to three years, unless there are serious issues that come before that time period. This is a good time to let your West Virginia child custody lawyer any of the issues that have been causing problems, such as the other parent always being late for pickups or drop-offs. There can be positive discussions between the parents, their attorneys, and the court moderator in clearing up these issues so they don’t mushroom into bigger problems.
Contact a West Virginia Child Custody Lawyer Today
If you are concerned about time your child is spending with their non-custodial parent and whether or not their safety and well being is in jeopardy, contact today to meet with a child custody lawyer West Virginia families trust and find out how we can help.