How Does Long Absences Away From Children Impact Parenting Plans In West Virginia Divorce?

Hello everyone. It’s Chris Pritt back again with a new topic in West Virginia divorce. Today, we’re going to be talking about long periods of time in which one of the parents has not seen the child.

So let’s say that two people are going through a divorce and for whatever reason, one of the parents has moved out of the house. Let’s say it was a long time ago or a very significant duration. Sometimes that comes up in cases. It’s not always entirely clear at first why that was the case, but it sometimes becomes an issue as to why there was this delay.  The question I get regarding this is will this delay have some sort of impact on the case? I can tell you that generally, yes. If it has been a significant amount of time, it can have an impact on the kind of parenting time that one of the parents is going to get over the other.

One of the critical factors is going to be what the reason was for the one parent not being able to have contact with the child or children. So for example, let’s say that you have one parent who purposely moved out of state, and let’s say they just completely walked out and they’ve been gone for a significant duration of time, and there’s not really any good reason. That is certainly going to have an impact on the time that particular parent gets. Now, let’s say you have a situation where you have a parent who moves out and the reason for that is that they wanted to cut down on tension. Often that is a huge issue in cases is they don’t want to be arguing around the children. The parties mutually agree that one of them is going to be moving out. So as to cut down on the tension in the household, which can be considered to be in the best interest of the children, one of the parents is purposely keeping the children away from the other parent and not allowing them to have any kind of contact. Then certainly that is going to be a factor that the court is going to look at. That could potentially be used against the parent who is withholding the time away from the other parent.

One thing to remember is that a lot of times these things can be proven through text messages, or sometimes people have made audio recordings that provide a significant context as to whether that is the case. So I guess the point to take from this is whenever you’re looking at one of the parents being out of the home for a significant amount of time,  let’s say six months or sometimes even a little bit more or less than that, then what the reasons were for the time without seeing the children it’s going to have a huge impact. This is something you always need to be thinking about. Certainly, you need to be, if you’re the one moving out of the house. It’s always a good idea to be maintaining contact with the children as much as possible. If the other parent is not allowing you to see the child or children, then again make sure you have documentation on it. Make sure you can get that person to send some texts confirming it or something along those lines where you have actual proof. For example maybe even emails.

That consists of today’s topic. If you have any questions at all, feel free to give us a call at (304) 720 4412 or email us at CTA (1).png