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Baltimore Metro Family Law Blog

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.

Marital split-up doesn't have to give you a splitting headache

You have finally decided to end your marriage, but you feel conflicted. You are eager to complete the divorce process and move on with your own life. At the same time, you are worried that your divorce process will be a drawn-out battle that will take away your peace of mind.

Fortunately, a marital split-up does not have to be an acrimonious experience. With mediation, you and your future ex can more efficiently resolve your divorce issues in West Virginia.

Divorce near retirement can be financially stressful

Whether your relationship suddenly took a downward turn or had been deteriorating for years, divorce can be an overwhelmingly emotional experience. While many things get better with age, divorce is unfortunately not one of them.

Pursuing a divorce later in life — also called a gray divorce — can have serious financial implications. The financial aspect of ending a marriage might even be more severe for those closer to or already in retirement.

Negotiating changes to your holiday parenting visitation schedule

For divorced parents this time of year, one issue that's likely forefront in your mind is seeing the kids over the holidays. Regardless of your relationship with your ex, figuring out the holiday visitation schedule is not only challenging, it may be one of the biggest conflicts you encounter when it comes to joint custody.

Part of the problem lies in the fact that plans change and life is full of surprises. You may have been satisfied with the initial parenting plan but then suddenly a holiday party gets rescheduled or a special event pops up. With Thanksgiving just around the corner and December festivities not far behind, what are some methods you and your ex can consider to ensure the holidays are merry and bright for you and your children this year?

How to seek what your spouse may be hiding in divorce

Like most parents in West Virginia, you have likely played hide and seek with your children on more than one occasion. Such games are timeless and often provide free and easy means for keeping kids occupied and entertained. Fast forward to your upcoming divorce proceedings, however, and you may quickly realize that not all hide and seek games are innocent or harmless. In fact, when it comes to property division and assets that rightfully belong to you, the last thing you need is to have to prove they exist.

Many spouses try to hide assets in divorce. Reasons vary but often include desire for revenge or attempts to avoid having to hand over certain luxury items to a spouse. Not only is hiding assets not a game at all, it is illegal. Knowing your rights and how to protect them if you suspect your spouse is trying to give you the short end of the stick may help you resolve a major problem before it gets out of hand.

Do you know you can write your own parenting plan in divorce?

Over the years, as you've raised your children alongside the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of West Virginia, you've likely faced many ups and downs together as a family. Perhaps, one of your biggest challenges came the day you sat your kids down to tell them you were getting divorced. Hopefully, you have a close relationship and were able to reassure them that while some things would definitely be changing in their lives, the one thing that will never change is your love for them.

In fact, studies show when children know they have parental support and are able to be open about their emotions and feelings during divorce proceedings, they often fare quite well. Like most good parents throughout the state, you want what is best for your children and are willing to cooperate and compromise to provide for their well-being.

Balancing the scales of child custody

Within a relatively short period of time, the structure of the average family household has changed. Society no longer expects mothers to stay home, raise the children and keep house. Fathers are not necessarily the sole breadwinners of the family. Your own family may reflect these welcome changes if you and your spouse both work fulltime out of the home and equally share the household chores.

Of course, not all changes in family dynamics are positive, and you may find your own family unable to stand up to the pressures from within or without that assail it. If you are facing a divorce, you certainly will not want to fall under the delusion that child custody will be determined based on standards and assumptions of past generations.

What are my options in the event of parental kidnapping?

It's a scenario that no parent wants to consider, but what if the unthinkable happens to your family? Your ex-spouse has taken your child and disappeared, in direct violation of a custody agreement. Your head is spinning, but there are important steps to take and options to prevent the same from happening again.

After the child is located, you will be able to work with your lawyer and the court system to ensure the safety of your child. Setting limits for your family is going to be the important focus of your co-parenting now. Here are a few recommendations for you in the event of a parental kidnapping.


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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