Will All Judges Rule The Same Way In A West Virginia Divorce?

When couples are divorcing in West Virginia, they often wonder whether different judges are going to rule in different ways based on various factors? The answer to that is yes. One of the things about family court in West Virginia is that the judges have something that we call discretion. What that means in a basic way is that they have a say so about what they consider to be fair and equitable and in the best interest of the parties and the children that are involved in a divorce. There are certain issues where the court is not going to have as much discretion as they call it. There are certain types of issues where  the court is going to have a lot of discretion. For example, when it comes to things like dividing property or when it comes to things along the lines of child support, those sorts of things are going to be a little bit more clear cut in court.

For example, alimony and child custody matters two judges could do totally different things based on the same set of facts. There’s an argument to be made that that’s not necessarily fair, but it is what it is. That’s how things are structured here in West Virginia and how they’re done in a lot of other States as well. When it comes to things like property distribution it will be a little more clear cut. However, it’s not going to be exactly precise in the court. Still is going to have some leeway in terms of how they do things.

For example, one thinks that the silverware is worth $200 and the other spouse thinks it’s worth a hundred dollars. In small valued things, people find it’s probably not worth the money to hire an expert to make a determination about what they think that the value is. Generally speaking, when it comes to issues like that, people are going to make different claims about what the value of the property is. At the end of the day, what the court’s going to do is make a decision about the value of that property if the couple divorcing can’t come to an agreement.

With alimony, child support and more, there’s really a lot of discretion and can really get a huge disparity in terms of how the courts are going to react to those various issues and various facts. It’s important the person divorcing and the attorney have an idea about what the court may do in a given circumstance. Oftentimes the lawyers will have a pretty good idea. These are a broad idea about what can possibly happen and what the parameters are in the context of a divorce action in West Virginia.Pritt CTA (1).png