Child Custody Jurisdiction in West Virginia

Yesterday, we talked about divorce jurisdiction for you and your spouse. Today, we’re going to be talking about child custody jurisdiction in West Virginia. It’s very important that both of those things align prior to filing for a divorce if you have children.

You could actually have a situation where West Virginia could have jurisdiction over the divorce, but they might not have jurisdiction over your children. For Example: A couple separate in Ohio, and let’s say the wife takes the kids and comes to West Virginia for a few months where they were married originally.

As you probably remember from yesterday, West Virginia would have jurisdiction to hear the case in West Virginia under that circumstance. They would have full jurisdiction over the divorce because they were married there. However, they wouldn’t necessarily have jurisdiction over the child custody matter, which could really complicate things.

  Does The Court Look At How Long a Person Lived Out of West Virginia?

As a general rule of thumb, a court usually during their initial determination about child custody is going to look at where the children lived for the last 6 months. That’s the general rule of thumb when it comes to people who are initially getting divorced and the child is older than six months of age.

It gets really complicated in situations where people move around a lot, but the general rule of thumb is it’s where the children lived for the last six months. Let’s say in our scenario that the kids had been in Ohio for the first 10 years of their life or 11 years of their life, and they happened to move to West Virginia. West Virginia would not gain jurisdiction until they’ve been in West Virginia for six months and nobody’s filed anything.

Those are some basics about child custody jurisdiction, but I just wanted to go over these today and give you some of the basic information, so you’re better prepared.