How The Family Courts in West Virginia Look At Different Types of Issues

One of the things I wanted to talk to you today about is how Family Courts in West Virginia look at different types of issues. Depending on the type of issue before the Family Court, it’s going to be looked at in a totally different way. For some issues the court has a wide range of options as to what it can do. You could have the same issue in front of two separate family court judges for certain types of issues and they could do totally different things and it would be permissible based on the law. There could be other things that are narrow as to what the Family Court can do and that’s considered to be appropriate.

You break this down into different kinds of categories of issues. If we’re talking about spousal support or child custody matters, the court has a wide degree of options as to what it could do. It could be two different judges and the two different judges could do something totally different sometimes. However, both would be permissible and both would be held up on appeal.

Now when it comes to certain things with regards to property division or child support, the court generally does not have as many options or what we call discretion to go out and do what they think is appropriate. For example, with the child support formula, applying child support, you plug in the numbers and outcomes what the person should be paying. The court can deviate from that in extraordinary circumstances, but I just don’t see that happening that much.

Generally speaking, the court’s going to go with what the child support formula says. The same thing comes with property division. As we’ve talked about this in another article, everything is supposed to be split evenly. Now, one of the core things that the court is going to do though, when it comes to properties, they’re going to assess the property and determine what the values are and different people could have different opinions about the value of a piece of property.

For example, with real estate, two appraisers could value the same piece of property in two different ways. When this happens, it’s up to the judge to decide what the value is. When it comes to things like spousal support for example, there are 20 different factors that the court is going to look at. We haven’t gotten into a whole lot of details about these 20 factors, but the court has what we call a wide degree of discretion as to whether to award it and as to whether it should be in any particular amount.

The same thing with child custody matters. The court has a broad range of things that it can do in terms of child custody matters. Those are really the two differences and that’s one of the things that you should take into account when you’re thinking about your family court case. You need to be thinking about what are going to be your risks depending on the type of issue. It’s very important to know where your judge stands on those issues as well before you go into court. The reason is because there are some judges that in almost every instance, pretty much going to do a certain thing.

When it comes to things like spousal support or child custody, there are other judges who are going to do it in a completely different way based on the same set of facts. This is one of the things that you always have to take into account. In terms of whether the court can do a wide array of things in a given situation or whether the judge is mandated to do a particular thing.

This basically encompasses when it comes to decision making for the judge as to what he or she thinks is appropriate. The point you want to take from this article today is for some things the court has a lot more discretion as to what it does and does not do. In other instances, it’s much more narrow. Just remember some of these things we talked about, so when it’s time to go to court, you can be better prepared.Pritt+Feb+CTA+%281%29.jpg