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Baltimore Metro Family Law Blog

Easing the stress divorce places on your children

Undoubtedly, you have heard both sides of the debate about how divorce affects the children. Some say divorce is emotionally devastating for the young ones ,and others say that is it better to divorce than to subject your children to years of watching their parents unhappily married. Your fear of causing harm to your children may even cause you to remain married when your own well-being is at risk.

It may be difficult to imagine that your children will not be emotionally traumatized if you, as an adult, are overwhelmed by the circumstances. However, it may comfort you to know that there are steps you can take to minimize the negative effect the divorce may have on your children.

Settling your divorce outside of court may be possible

Going through a marital dissolution generally is not a pleasant ordeal. After all, both you and your spouse may be at odds about how to handle your divorce issues, such as how to split your property.

However, if you are able to resolve your divorce issues outside of court, the process may be much more palatable for both of you. Here is a look at how the process of settling your divorce matters outside of court works in West Virginia.

File your petition to kickstart your divorce in West Virginia

You have finally decided to end your marriage, and you look forward to moving on with your life as a single person. The question is, how exactly do you get divorced?

Getting a divorce in West Virginia starts with filing a document known as the divorce petition in court. Here is an in-depth look at what this process involves.  

Does your new job take you across state lines?

Living here in Martinsburg provides you access to employment in at least three other states and the nation's capital. From here, you have numerous options if you are willing to commute, and many people do. Whether the cost of living, lower housing costs or wide-open spaces drew you and your family to the state, you now face the prospect of moving for a new job.

Except, you have one large and important problem — the child custody agreement between you and your ex-spouse. The law does not allow you to simply move with the children. Even if your ex agrees to the move, the court will need to approve it as well.

Various child custody options can impact your family

You and your spouse have decided to get a divorce. Naturally, what this means for your money may worry you. However, most importantly, how the divorce will affect your children -- and your relationships with them -- may be a concern to you.

Various types of child custody exist, with each having a unique impact on your relationships with your children. Here is a glimpse at the various types and what they mean for your family following divorce in West Virginia.

Once served a divorce petition, you have a short time to act

The court has just served you with divorce papers, and naturally, you feel that this has turned your life upside down. However, you realize that, sometimes, divorce is unavoidable, so you have no choice but to go through it. However, where do you start?

Once you have received a divorce petition from your soon-to-be ex, you are officially the defendant or the respondent in the divorce process. Your next step is to respond to your spouse's petition. Here is a look at what generating the petition response involves in West Virginia.

Property division can sometimes be rocky in the Mountain State

Many couples have found romance in West Virginia, known for its beautiful mountainous terrain. However, many other couples have endured rocky marriages and are beyond ready to call it quits.

Divorce can certainly give an unhappy couple the chance to break free from the marriage and to move on with their own lives. However, it can also spark conflict when it comes to dividing shared property, such as cash and other assets. Here is a glimpse at how judges handle property division during divorce proceedings in West Virginia.

Have you changed jobs? Your child support amount can change, too

If you share custody of your children and have changed to a new job, the child support amount you have to pay will not immediately change to reflect the new job's salary.  However, you can request that the court change your child support order.

Petitioning the court in West Virginia to modify how much you pay in child support may be warranted especially if you cannot afford your current payments because your pay has decreased. In the same way, the other parent may choose to seek to have your child support amount modified if he or she learns that you are earning a substantially higher income in your new job position.

The basic facts of visitation rights

After a divorce or a separation, if you are a parent, you will likely have questions related to seeing your children. You will need to decide with your co-parent whether you will share custody or whether one of you will have sole custody of the children, leaving the other parent to visit. If you aren't able to independently make an agreement with your co-parent, then you may need to go through the courts for a resolution.

When you are going through this process, it can be a huge help to be familiar with your state's custody laws. When you are attempting to secure time with your children, you will likely have some questions. Luckily, for most people, the questions are common ones that other families who have undergone similar circumstances have likely handled before.

Get the facts straight on child custody in West Virginia

During your marriage, you and your spouse might have been the type of couple who split all your parenting duties evenly. On the other hand, one of you may have been a main provider in one area, such as driving the kids to activities, while the other was more of a disciplinarian. Either way, you no doubt had your own unique way of doing things in your family and each took your role as a parent seriously.

Now that you're preparing to end your marriage in a West Virginia court, you have both agreed to make things as non-stressful as possible for your kids. However, when the subject of child custody came up, you could tell things were not going to go smoothly. Child custody situations can be complicated. Understanding the various types of custody may help you avoid major problems as well as develop a parenting plan that focuses on your children's best interests.

Contact

Joseph Brophy Cordell, Attorney at Law
115 1/2 West King Street
Martinsburg, WV 25401

Phone: 304-707-0673
Fax: 304-263-3378
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