Over the years that we have practiced child custody/guardianship law in West Virginia we have seen many attempts to persuade the courts with unique arguments. Luckily, only one consideration has remained the most important for our Family Court Judges -- that is the "best interest of the child."
Courts will always make decisions for children placement and custody based on what they determine to be the best interest of a child. West Virginia Code enumerates what the court is to consider when making this determination. These factors are then weighed by the court and, based on the "preponderance of the evidence," the court will either determine that a remedy is or is not in the best interest of the child.
If you are struggling through a difficult West Virginia child custody or guardianship issue, then it pays to see a lawyer who can show you the West Virginia Code as it relates to these factors. Most times it takes a skilled lawyer to show the judge that indeed placing a child in your custody is the best thing for the child.
Even in cases where it seems obvious that the child is better suited with you, we do not recommend attempting these cases without an attorney because emotion will always get the best of you in the court room.
However, if you are forced to enter a custody battle without an attorney, you will do well to remember these words -- Best Interest of the Child.
Seth S. Gaskins, Esq.