What the Court Won’t Usually Address with Children and a West Virginia Divorce

Today, I’m going to be talking to you about things that a court is not going to address one way or another. Generally speaking there are certain things that a court is just not going to address or help you with. One thing under West Virginia law they are not generally going to cover unless it’s in some sort of agreement is college tuition after the child reaches the age of 18. That’s a very common question I get. If want to make him or her be responsible for some of the college tuition, will the courts help me? That’s generally not going to happen. Most of the time the courts take the perspective of it’s just their responsibility and there are more important things that need to be addressed. Now, I have seen courts enforce agreements that deal with it, but there’s a difference between a court enforcing something that’s in an agreement that was accepted by the court and you having a contested hearing and then the court not accepting it.

What About Step Children or If Children Over 18?

Something else the courts are generally not going to address is the visitation rights over step-children. Courts are very reluctant to get into that and, generally speaking, they’re not going to do anything about that when it comes to step-children. In relation to children over the age of 18, sometimes I am asked if any visitation rights or custody issues will be addressed. The answer to that is no. The court is not going to address visitation rights because at that point the court doesn’t have jurisdiction over the child. One exception perhaps might be is if there’s a child with some sort of mental incapacity, but then again there would be other courts that would address that such as a mental hygiene court or something along those lines. Something the court is not going to address is visitation rights regarding children who are not a part of that particular court case. Let’s say that you’ve got children that are, it could be stepchildren, it could be children who just happened to be living in the home, other children who are not the biological children of the people involved in the case that happen to be living in the home. The court is not going to be addressing that. In other words, if you’re a step-parent or somebody like that who has even built up a strong relationship with the child, but there’s also a separate court order that addresses that child, the court is generally not going to take that up either. These are just some of the things that the court is not going to necessarily address when it comes to children and your West Virginia divorce.