What Impact Do Domestic Violence Proceedings Have On Child Custody In West Virginia Divorce?

Some people going through a divorce wonder how domestic violence proceedings impact the children. When domestic violence petitions are filed, they can be filed on behalf of an actual spouse or other person or they can actually even be filed on behalf of the children. However, a key difference between the two do exist. Whenever something is filed on behalf of the actual person and children are in the home, what will happen at that point is the court will make a determination as to whether the domestic violence has occurred. Once the court makes that determination, at that stage, the court has the authority to take up issues as it relates to the children. Regardless of whether the child was named in the petition or was exposed to domestic violence, the court can go ahead and make findings and can make some arrangements for what the parenting plan is going to be going forward.

One key difference though between whether it’s successful or whether it’s not is in the event that the domestic violence petition is not awarded. For example, maybe no other proceedings are going on, whether it’s divorce or whether it’s for say a petition for allocation, which is dealing with custody issues. The court is totally without jurisdiction to deal with those issues because the only thing that’s going to happen at that point is that the domestic violence petition is going to be thrown out. The court can only do something called parenting if there’s an actual proceeding that’s going on.

The other type of proceeding involving children is one in which the children are actually named in the petition. In this case you have to have grounds for the actual domestic violence petition being awarded and the child has to be an alleged victim of the domestic violence. At that stage, then the court’s going to intervene and then they’re going to make a determination as to whether domestic violence happened in front of the children. In the event that domestic violence has been in some way committed against the children, the courts are far more likely to order that there’d be some sort of supervised visitation. There are typically greater restrictions that are going to be placed on the parent who committed the domestic violence.unnamed (3).png