Where Do the Kids Go When a DVP is filed in West Virginia?

Hello everyone. It’s Chris, Pritt back again with a new topic in West Virginia divorce. Today, we’re going to be talking about where the kids go in the event that somebody files a domestic violence petition.

There are a number of factors that are going to be considered when deciding where the children are going to go. Today I’m specifically going to focus more on the time period between when a divorce has been filled in the magistrate court and when you go to family court. So, it’s really gonna depend on a number of factors. If you are filing a domestic violence petition on behalf of the children, then there’s a very strong likelihood that unless there’s some sort of special circumstance that the children are going to go with you. This is if you were filing on behalf of the children, that means if you were alleging that domestic violence was committed against the children.

When the allegation does not involve domestic violence being committed against the children, then it gets a little bit more complicated. I’ve seen the magistrate courts handle this in different ways. Sometimes what the magistrate court will do is they will award the children, no matter what, to the parent who is filing the domestic violence petition. In other instances, the magistrate courts will actually go and they will just leave the children with the person who has them at the time of the filing of the domestic violence petition. So, it really depends on the situation in that respect.

The other thing that they factor in is whether there is an existing parenting plan. I’ve seen instances in which the people have already gone through a divorce and even though they’ve already gone through the divorce there is a parenting plan in place. In the event that none of the allegations have been made involving the children they’ll just tell the people to go by the current parenting plan. Now, that becomes very complicated in the event that there are scheduled exchanges because between the magistrate court hearing and when you go to court there’s not supposed to be any contact between the two people. So that becomes problematic in some instances. So the point of this is it’s not super clear as to how a court is going to award children for that time period between magistrate court and when you go to family court. This time period should be within 10 days unless the person can’t get served or there’s another special circumstance.

After the domestic violence petition has been awarded the family court is going to have to make some decisions as to whether the parenting plan that was previously entered, if any, should be kept in place. Alternatively, they’ll have to make some decisions on what the parenting plan is going to be going forward in the event that the divorce petition has not yet been filed.

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 chris@prittlaw.comPritt CTA (1).png