Family Lawyer in Charleston WV

Family law is a legal category that deals with a lot of sensitive subjects involving the dissolution and rearrangement of different relationships within the family. As a result of this, family law cases can get very intense and fraught with emotion to a much greater degree than cases involving strangers. Family law cases can involve intense, emotional issues like divorce, child custody, alimony payments, and more, so it is no surprise that the people involved are often under a lot of stress and in a heightened emotional state. 

There are cases where the people involved in a family law case manage to remain civil with each other, but no matter the emotional intensity level of the parties involved, they each should get a family lawyer to represent them. If the parties are hostile to each other, then a family lawyer can present an oasis of calm that allows them to communicate with each other without the meeting devolving into a fight. A family lawyer can also fairly and objectively negotiate any issues involving money since they only have the interests of each party in mind and are not interested in any personal retribution or vendettas against either of the parties.

Scott E. Elswick is a family lawyer who has over two decades of experience so he knows how to keep things peaceful and calm when dealing with people who, understandably, might be in a heightened emotional state. He understands the sensitivity of family law cases and will always represent his clients in a calm, fair manner and if the case involves a child, then he will always put the interests of the child ahead of anything else. So if you are going through a divorce, child custody battle, or any kind of contentious family problem in Charleston, WV, then give the Law Office of Scott E. Elswick a call. He will help you to get through the process efficiently and fairly so that you can move on to the next stage of your life.

Almost 20 Years experience in Family Law 
as an Attorney & Family Court Judge

Divorce and Annulments

The difference between a divorce and an annulment is that an annulment makes it so that the marriage never happened in the first place. They can both be intensely emotional events because they involve two people who know each other very well splitting up from each other. Some divorces can be civil and amicable, but many others involve a lot of hatred and hostility as each party airs their grievances and frustrations with each other whenever they get the chance. It can get even worse if children are involved. 

Lawyers can serve as middlemen and go-betweens for each party as they negotiate the terms of their divorce. Even with the aid of experienced divorce attorneys, a divorce can be unpredictable and when it is fair and equitable to both parties, at least one of the parties will be unsatisfied with the outcome. This can often be because of the grounds for divorce, which are the legal reasons for divorce and they can be fault or no-fault. A fault divorce is when one of the spouses did something that caused the divorce, such as abuse or adultery. No-fault divorce is when couples drift apart due to irreconcilable differences or the breakdown of the marriage.

Some of the issues that need to be worked out during a divorce include the following:

Division of Property

When a couple gets divorced, the courts will divide all of the marital assets acquired during the marriage. Separate property is the property that each person owned before the marriage or was given specifically to them during the marriage, so they are allowed to keep it once the marriage ends. Marital property refers to the assets acquired by the couple during their marriage and can be separated into a real property like the house, vehicles, or jewelry, and intangible property like income and dividends.

The way the property is divided depends on whether the couple lives in a state that follows equitable distribution or community property. Equitable distribution means that the property is divided between the couple based on the facts of the case. Community property states attempt to divide the property on a 50-50 basis. Most states, including West Virginia, use equitable distribution, meaning that the judge will divide property based on what they feel is fair based on the circumstances of the case.


Also called spousal support, this allows the spouse who is the lower earner or who was unemployed during the marriage to maintain their lifestyle until they can earn a steady income. The amount, frequency, and duration of spousal support depending on various factors such as the length of the marriage, the physical and emotional health of each spouse, and the ability of the spouse to pay the required amount. A judge will take all of these factors into consideration, as well as a few others when deciding on the alimony payments. 

Child Custody

This is technically also part of many divorce proceedings, but it is a big enough legal issue that it deserves to be treated separately. This can be an emotional issue for both the parents and the children involved, but the courts will always make the best interests of the children their top priority. That means the courts will usually try to appoint joint custody since it is usually good for the child to have a strong relationship with both of their parents. The exception is if a parent is abusive or derelict in their parenting duties.

In some cases, a parent will get sole custody of their child, in which case the courts will have to work out a visitation schedule for the non-custodial parent. Child support is also an important issue in child custody cases because parents are legally obligated to support their children. The amount of support that a non-custodial parent must provide for their child depends on a variety of factors but each state has a child support worksheet to help simplify the decision. Factors that are taken into account include the income of the parents, the education needs of the child, health insurance for the child, and more.

The penalty for not paying child support payments can be severe, but parents that have trouble paying can try to modify the child support arrangement. In fact, modification of existing child custody and child support arrangements are a big part of family law since the circumstances of the divorced couple and their children are always changing. If an arrangement needs to be modified, then the party requesting the modification should contact an attorney before taking their case to the courts.

Contact Us If You Have a Family Law Case in Charleston, WV

We know how urgent, sensitive, and life-changing family law cases can be, which is why the Law Office of Scott E. Elswick treats each case with the gravity that it deserves. Scott E. Elswick treats every client with respect and is always looking out for their best interests, especially if children are involved. You can trust that he will use his two decades of experience to fight for a fair and equitable outcome of your case. So if you have a family law case that you want to be resolved efficiently and fairly, then contact the Law Office of Scott E. Elswick to get the help that you need.

Areas we serve:

100 Capitol Street; Suite 400
Charleston, WV 25301
304.546.1600 • 877.508.4809 (f)

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