Law Office Of Scott E. Elswick
Law Office Of Scott E. Elswick
  • 100 Capitol St., 4th Floor Charleston, WV 25301
  • Call Now (304) 314-4775

    To Schedule A Personalized Consultation!

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.

Child Custody & Visitation

Child custody and visitation matters can be a tumultuous affair, especially when parents cannot agree on a custody and visitation arrangement. Parents who cannot agree will have to rely on the court to decide their arrangement. Leaving it up to the court, however, may generate an order that may not suit the family’s dynamic. If you are not able to resolve your child custody and visitation matter, you will need the assistance of a child custody lawyer. A child custody lawyer can help negotiate a resolution or fight the issue in litigation. It is worth recruiting a child custody lawyer who keeps your child’s best interests in mind and who can advise on the best solutions.

Child Custody Lawyer Charleston WV

When a couple decides that a separation or divorce is the best choice for them, it can be difficult for any children that are caught in the middle. Unless the couple came to an amicable agreement beforehand, chances are that they will each want to claim custody of the children. Ultimately, they will likely end up needing a child custody attorney to help prove their case to the courts, since they will end up making the final decision about which parent gets primary care of the children. The courts will always make the safety, security, and best interests of the children their top priority, which is why any parent who wants custody of their children will need an experienced child custody lawyer to make their case for them.

Scott E. Elswick is a Charleston, WV child custody lawyer with over two decades of experience. He has overseen many family cases and knows how sensitive and delicate they can be, especially when children are involved. That is why he will help to resolve any child custody dispute regardless of how complex or contentious it becomes. He knows that every family is unique and will always try to come up with a solution that best suits the dynamic of the family that he is helping. So if you have a child custody dispute that you need to be resolved swiftly and fairly, then contact the Law Office of Scott E. Elswick to get the help that you need.

Types Of Child Custody In Charleston, WV

There are different types of custodial arrangements that can be arranged for parents who have divorced, some of which put one parent in charge of the children and others which give both parents responsibility. West Virginia is a shared parenting state, which means that usually both parents share custody of the children. However, there are situations where one parent is given all or the majority of the custody arrangements. The different types of custody are as follows.

Legal Custody

When a parent gets legal custody of their child, it means that they are responsible for making decisions about important matters in the lives of their children. Those decisions include things like where they go to school, what religion they choose to follow, the kinds of medical procedures they take, and so on. These kinds of decisions are usually shared and discussed between the parents when they are together and that is sometimes still the case even when they separate. This is called joint legal custody and it is the preference of most states and their courts.

In some cases, one parent is the primary caregiver even when they have joint legal custody and if the other parent agrees, then the primary caregiver is the one responsible for making various decisions about their child’s life. However, in some cases one of the parents might disagree with the choices the other parent is making regarding the life of their child. If the parents cannot come to an agreement, then a judge might give one parent sole custody of the child, meaning the other parent has little or no say in any decisions made about their child. If it looks like a joint legal custody agreement is going to get contentious, then the parents will need to hire child custody lawyers to make the case as to why they would be the more suitable parent.

Physical Custody

This type of custody arrangement regards where the children will live on a regular basis. As with legal custody, there can be joint physical custody as well, which is when the child moves back and forth between the homes of each parent. This is usually the decision preferred by judges, but it is only practical if the parents live relatively close to each other and get along well. The time the children spend with each parent is not necessarily exactly equal, but it is usually fairly close.

Sole Custody

There are different reasons why a parent could be granted sole custody of their children: if one parent is abusive to their spouse and/or their children; if one parent has substance abuse problems; if one parent lives a great distance from the other; if one parent spends most of their time with the children. There are also cases where both parents will agree that one should get sole custody of the children while the other parent gets visitation rights. 

However, they should be careful in those situations because it could mean that the custodial parent could move away with the children. If the non-custodial parent wants to prevent that from happening, then they would have to go to court to do so. That is why any decisions regarding sole custody must be carefully considered.

Parenting Plans

A parenting plan is a schedule of custody and visitation that is beneficial to the parents and their children. The West Virginia courts encourage parenting plans, especially if they allow both parents to be involved in decisions about important matters in their children’s lives. In a parenting plan, the parents decide where the children will stay during the week, on weekends, and on holidays. The goal is to provide a stable environment for the children and to keep both parents engaged in the lives of their children. However the parenting plan ends up, it should be in the best interest of the children.

Factors Regarding Custody In Charleston, WV

There are several factors that West Virginia judges will consider when deciding whether to grant sole or joint custody to the parents. A child custody attorney can help to make arguments on behalf of the parent as to why they deserve custody. Some of the factors judges will take into consideration include the following:​

  • The relationship the child has with each parent
  • The age and physical and emotional health of the child
  • The emotional, physical, and educational needs of the child
  • The child’s relationships with siblings or other family members
  • The physical and mental health of each parent
  • The parents’ relationship with each other
  • The geographical location of each parent
  • Any history of abuse or neglect
  • Any other factors regarding the best interests of the child

Contact Us If You Need A Child Custody Lawyer

A child custody arrangement is an important milestone in the lives of parents and their children. That is why it is vital that a parent has the right child custody lawyer to represent them. Scott E. Elswick is a child custody attorney who will always put the interests of the child front and centre, so you can be assured that he will provide the best possible case to the courts. He will use his two decades of acquired knowledge and experience to help any parent who wants to have a favourable custody arrangement. So if you find yourself in such a situation, contact the Law Office of Scott E. Elswick so that he can help you come to an arrangement that is in the best interests of you and your child.

Scott Elswick, Esq.

Call Now (304) 314-4775
To Schedule A Personalized Consultation!