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Grandparents' Rights in West Virginia - WV Visitation, Custody, and Legal Strategies to Fight for Your Grandchildrens Best Interests Through WV Family Law

West Virginia Child Custody Laws, WV Grandparents Visitation Rights, Filing Divorce Papers, Parenting Plan Agreement, Mediation, Evaluation, and Court Hearing Support

West Virginia grandparents’ legal rights, guidelines, regulations, and rules of law allow you to ask for visitation, and temporary custody of your grandchildren. WV grandparents can also file for full custody, guardianship, or adoption, to raise their grand-kids, through a WV family law custody court judicial process. The proper legal advice, guidance, and strategies are key to ensure a successful outcome to any predicament regarding your grandchildren. Fortunately, studies have shown that the “Best Interests” for your grandchildren is that they have an active relationship with their grandparents. Grandfathers and grandmothers can often provide a healthier and more stable environment than the children’s biological parents. As a result, West Virginia’s “Best Interest of the Child” guideline fully supports a grandparents’ rights for visitation and custody. The legal extent to which you can visit, provide, and support your grandchildren will need to be determined and approved through a WV family law court hearing litigation process.

Children are all too often kept from their grandparents, or exposed to abuse and neglect. Typically, most if not all of these circumstances Grandparents Visitation and Custody Rights - Grandchildren Need Grandparents Help Protecting Them from Abuse and Neglectare completely out of their control. This unhealthy environment is a damaging situation for children’s emotional and physical well-being. Children often don’t have a voice to be heard, and it is our responsibility as grandparents to be that voice. A voice that defends, supports, protects, and cares for all grandchildren that so desperately need our help.

The West Virginia Judicial Legal System Recognizes the Importance of Grandparents’ Rights Regarding Visitation and Custody of Grandchildren; and Fully Understands That Abuse and Neglect are Prevalent in WV Families.

WV family law fully acknowledges the ability for grandparents to provide a positive and stable environment. An environment, which is able to provide leadership, and a parenting platform so many children desperately need. Grandchildren even spending limited time with their grandparents can help provide the much-needed comfort and security that children require on a regular basis.

The situation grandchildren are exposed to varies greatly. Some are in a positive stable environment, and grandparents are simply denied access or may be allowed very limited contact with their grandchildren. The other end of the spectrum is a situation that needs to be addressed as soon as possible. If you can prove your grandchildren are being subjected to an abusive and neglectful environment, the West Virginia judicial system will act quickly and forcefully on your behalf. Don’t think for one second that as grandparents your rights will be restricted or limited. Remember, the “Best Interest of the Children” is a standard that is fully recognized and supported in the state of West Virginia.

If your grandchildren are in an abusive or neglected environment you may file a petition for a WV child protective proceeding. If abuse, neglect, or imminent danger exist, child protective services may enforce an emergency removal of the children and place them into protective custody. A child protective proceeding is typically followed by a number of court hearings. A fact-finding court hearing is set to determine if the allegations are true. A dis-positional hearing is set to decide what should be done if the child has been neglected or abused. Finally, a permanency hearing is set to determine and finalize the permanent placement and security of the children.

It’s important to recognize, the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) was established to ensure that any Broken Families, Marriages, Relationships, Children, Teenagers, and Parents Need Help Nowchild custody litigation occurs in the child’s “home state”. The “home state” is defined as the last state where a child has lived for 6 consecutive months with a parent. This act was adopted to discourage parents from moving out-of-state in an attempt to manipulate the judicial system for whatever reason. Parental attempted kidnapping by moving children to another state or jurisdiction was one of the main reasons the UCCJEA was adopted.

West Virginia Grandparents’ Legal Rights, Guidelines, Regulations, and Rules of Law Enable You to Defend Your Visitation Rights, Fight for Custody, or the “Best Interests” of Your Grandchildren Through WV Family Law.

The modification to your grandchild’s custody situation may be modified in West Virginia on your behalf. In some cases it will be a temporary modification based on a continuing effort of both parents to SUCCESSFULLY overcome the obstacles that prevent them from retaining full custody again. Parents inability to provide a safe, stable, humane, and secure home environment can be due to many different factors, including but not limited to: (substance abuse, incarceration, mental health issues, anger management, poor leadership skill sets, endangerment, physical abuse, emotional abuse, domestic violence, divorce, etc.). In other cases you may be awarded full custody. Often times, full custody comes with the option to legally adopt your grandchildren.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that you have no legal rights in the state of West Virginia when it Grandparents Legal Rights for Visitation and Child Custody - Family Law Custody Court Judicial Procedurescomes to your grandchildren. WV family law will help ensure your grand-kids get what they deserve and need. Remember to focus your efforts on their “Best Interests” at all times. Your grandchildren will thank you when they are mature enough to realize the decisions and sacrifices you made for them and their future.

I cannot stress enough, the fact that grandchildren need their grandparents. For some grand-kids seeing their grandparents on a regular basis is the best option. Others need to be removed from a physically and emotionally damaging environment permanently. Grandparents are often the first and best option for children to find the stable and secure environment they desperately need and deserve. Check out the links below to help secure visitation with your grandchildren, or fight for the rights of someone who is unable to defend themselves.

The time to act is now, because all children deserve the best that our society has to offer. As a West Virginia grandparent you have rights. Grandparents Visitation and Child Custody Rights, Laws, Advice, Support, and Dispute Resolution Through Negotiation and Court LitigationThese rights enable you to request visitation, and also allow you to be a voice for someone who may desperately need your help and support. Life can come with many challenges, but if you believe that everything happens for a reason then life’s challenges will suddenly become an obstacle with a manageable solution. Don’t forget, West Virginia grandparents’ legal rights, regulations, guidelines, and rules of law, regarding grandchild visitation and custody, were also legislated for guidance, advice, and strategies to support the “Best Interests of the Children” standard through WV family law.

22 Responses to “West Virginia (WV) Grandparents’ Rights for Visitation, Custody, and Support”

  1. Nina Schadewald says:

    First let me start by giving you my telephone # which is 304-257-8152. I’m in desperate need of help. When CPS came into my home when my daughter was not there at the time they only took 1 child. The little girl that had just turned 2 and my daughter has 5 children. They also went to the hospital and took her newborn son and placed these 2 babies in a foster home with a total of 6 children including my grand-babies. Mind you her children were not living with me at the time they took her daughter from my home. There reasoning of why I couldn’t keep them was my apartment was too small. So I went and got a 7 bedroom home that I still live in. All the court cases the lawyers talked to the judge with CPS while we sat and waited. Finally after months had gone by, my daughters attorney told her that they had a meeting and found her neglectful for taking her prescribed medication, as prescribed, and he told her not to worry that it would be appealed to the Supreme Court. All the while I stood up asking for the children and was pushed aside. I had a background check, a physical, was fingerprinted, a home study which was approved, and multiple references all stating I was the perfect home for the children. They have been dragging this on, and continue to change dates of the hearings. Also, before every hearing my daughter was drug tested until they wanted her to relinquish her parental rights with her lawyer promising her the children would be together in my home living as brother and sister. So she agreed after her doctor had just upped her dosage in xanax, and they did not do a drug test on her. She went to the Dr every month she was pregnant, and they did not know after examining her. So i do believe that she did not know. When we are in the courtroom the judge just looks at CPS nodding in agreement not paying attention to us at all. She was never offered an improvement period or rehab. She would have done anything to keep her children together. Now I had my last visitation where the foster mother sat in on as always, and we don’t know what to do. Her lawyer said she still had rights of her 3 yr older children but they deny her to come to my home, or they will take them from me as well. BUT IN THE VERY FIRST CASE HER ATTORNEY TOLD HER IT WAS BECAUSE THE WORKER DIDN’T LIKE HER AND IN THE COURTROOM THEY SAID SHE HAS HIV WHICH IS NOT TRUE. HER LAWYER TOLD HER THAT’S THE MAIN REASON FOR TAKING THE KIDS. SHE HAS BEEN TESTED AND IS NEGATIVE, BUT NO ONE WOULD SPEAK OF THAT AGAIN NO MATTER HOW MANY TIMES SHE BEGGED HER ATTORNEY. PLEASE PLEASE HELP OUR FAMILY. I’M AFRAID FOR MY DAUGHTERS MENTAL STATE. SHES ALONE AND HAS BEEN FOR ALMOST 2 YRS AND ITS GETTING TO HER MENTALLY AND PHYSICALLY. WE LIVE IN TUCKER CO W.V. THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME AND HEARING ME OUT. GOD BLESS YOU

    • filishea says:

      I know what your daughter went through. I went through the same thing in Nicholas County. Did you know the state gets so much money for each kid that gets taken, and also the CPS worker gets a commision for each child they take in the long run. It’s all about the money, they dont care about the children. If they did they would help the parents be better instead of taking them away.

      • Josephine Boyles says:

        You are so right it all about the money

      • Lisa says:

        I work with CPS and promise you, workers don’t get commission! Social workers are probably some of the lowest professionals going. We also use our own cars and risk our lives on a regular basis. Its not about the money, if that were the case more kids would be taken from families. A judge has to approve of a child’s removal, and they certainly don’t get commissions either. I’m sorry things aren’t going well with your case, but money is not the issue.

    • Josephine Boyles says:

      My name is Josephine Boyles. We went through the same thing with our grandchildren who was taken from our daughter. CPS in Wood County accused her of things that weren’t true. They accused her of being on drugs, which she passed every drug test they gave her. We try to get the children, and we do all the classes. We even got certificate to become foster parents. I like you the lawyer kept saying. He said everything with you is okay. My other daughter and son-in-law even became foster parents, and they won’t even let her have her nieces or nephew. Yet they give her other foster kids to take care of. CPS even lied, and said they tried to get ahold of the family, but the family didn’t want the children. It’s all a lie. They never did notify any of the family because we would have taken the children in a heartbeat. If you don’t have the money to fight it, you just never give up. I’ll never stop until I see all 3 of our grandbabies. It’s wrong how CPS do this and get away with it. The last time we waited outside of the courtroom my oldest granddaughter told them that she had the best grandma in the whole world, but the judge didn’t care. He didn’t want to hear it, because he was on CPS’s side from the very beginning.

    • Still Confused says:

      I hear you. It does not make sense to me how the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources DHHR) can agree with a judge to leave family members in foster care when family members are present and willing to adopt these children. In our case, the parental rights, our son’s, were terminated in October 2015 and remain in foster care. We presented ourselves to the DHHR office the day after we were notified, in June 2015, by county sheriff’s deputy that was conducting the investigation into our Grandson’s abuse. We told the worker our involvement with him up to then, and requested custody. We had been keeping him every weekend for months, had him for approximately three months from Nov 2014 through Jan 2015. Further, there were several times we had him up to a week at a time starting when he was about six months old. We provided baby supplies, food, child car seat, etc., as well. We love our grandchild, now granddaughter as well since she was born after he was severely abused. We didn’t see the abuse coming, THAT took us totally by surprise. Still, no one has been charged with this crime. For some unknown reason, I/we, were not allowed to speak with the case worker assigned for weeks. We have hired an attorney, using a credit card, and still do not see an end in sight. The foster parents have also applied for adoption. What a mess that has made for us, and especially the kids. They have tried manufacturing evidence we are abusing them both, we do have visitation during weekends. Their lawyer has lied in court, the case worker has, to say the least, stretched things in some of her statements that do not look favorable on us. The judge is friends with the foster parents, that is a fact and evidence proving a link exists is on file according to two prior DHHR employees. However, our lawyer is apparently unable to get this info. During the only MDT to date, the foster mother stated “The judge told me what I need to do to adopt the kids”. That statement was heard by everyone attending the meeting. Still, our family is in foster care. We are heeding our lawyers advise not to bring formal charges against the judge. DHHR delayed submitting the request for our home study for over two months. Also, they did not do a safety check on us until two months later when we hired an attorney. I cannot get answers to those questions. I get referred to the supervisor of the county office. We are waiting it out, but it has been one heck of a fight and it should not have to be that way. Policy statement, or a portion of it states: CPS will endeavor to strengthen and preserve family ties. What is happening makes a mockery of their stated goals. I guess it looks good on paper. I did not want to put my name on this because the case is ongoing. I remember when I was a young child hearing the grown-ups talking badly, to put it mildly, about social services. Some things do not change. Shouldn’t be so.

    • Still Confused says:

      I hear you. It does not make sense to me how Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) can agree with a judge to leave family members in foster care when family members are present and willing to adopt these children. In our case, the parental rights, our son’s, were terminated in October 2015 and remain in foster care. We presented ourselves to the DHHR office the day after we were notified, in June 2015, by county sheriff’s deputy that was conducting the investigation into our grandson’s abuse. We told the worker our involvement with him up to then and requested custody. We had been keeping him every weekend for months, had him for approximately three months from Nov 2014 through Jan 2015. Further, there were several times we had him up to a week at a time starting when he was about six months old. We provided baby supplies, food, child car seat, etc., as well. We love our grandchild, now granddaughter as well since she was born after he was severely abused. We didn’t see the abuse coming, THAT took us totally by surprise. Still, no one has been charged with this crime. For some unknown reason, I/we, were not allowed to speak with the case worker assigned for weeks. We have hired an attorney, using a credit card, and still do not see an end in sight. The foster parents have also applied for adoption. What a mess that has made for us, and especially the kids. They have tried manufacturing evidence that we are abusing them both, we do have visitation during weekends. Their lawyer has lied in court, the case worker has, to say the least, stretched things in some of her statements that do not look favorable on us. The judge is friends with the foster parents, that is a fact and evidence proving a link exists is on file according to two prior DHHR employees, but our lawyer is apparently unable to get this info. During the only MDT to date, the foster mother stated “the judge told me what I need to do to adopt the kids”. That statement was heard by everyone attending the meeting. Still, our family is in foster care. We are heeding our lawyers advise not to bring formal charges against the judge. DHHR delayed submitting the request for our home study for over two months. Also, they did not do a safety check on us until two months later when we hired an attorney. I cannot get answers to those questions. I get referred to the supervisor of the county office. We are waiting it out, but it has been one heck of a fight and it should not have to be that way. Policy statement, or a portion of it states: CPS will endeavor to strengthen and preserve family ties. What is happening makes a mockery of their stated goals. I guess it looks good on paper. I did not want to put my name on this because the case is ongoing. I remember when I was a young child hearing the grown-ups talking badly, to put it mildly, about social services. Some things do not change. Should’t’ be so.

    • Wayne Williams says:

      You should contact your local delegate, state senator, congressman, us senators and the president if needed. That’s ridiculous, and a shame! Grandparents should be the first option for relocation!!!!!!!

    • Linda Runyon says:

      Hello. I’m walking in your shoes right now. I was told that when my daughter lost her rights and then I lost mine. They said in the court room that grandparents have no rights in West Virginia. I need all the help I can get also. I have 6 grand-kids separated, which upsets me because they need to be kept together. The CPS worker came into my home and gave me 15 minutes to get their clothes together because he was taking my kids. All he asked me was did you leave the kids alone with there mother. I said no I didn’t, he then took them anyway. I didn’t do anything wrong. I have been to court a couple times. The judge told the attorney to go ahead with the adoption. I’m filing an appeal. I’ve also been to Kangaroo Court. I’m the bad person apparently, but I never did anything wrong to harm my grandchildren.

  2. Hello my name is Pamela Forester I’m a licensed massage therapist in a holistic practitioner. I have not seen my one grandson for 10 years I only got to see him when he was a newborn. My son and his girlfriend broke up, and then my son moved away. He blames me for most of his problems, which I feel are not my fault. Anyways, now he has two other children, and he will not let me see any of the kids. I am NOT a bad person. I never abused my son, I don’t abuse drugs, I’m not an alcoholic, and I work everyday. All I want is to spend some time with my Grand-kids. They are 10, 3, and 1 years old. Please if you can help me, I just don’t know where to turn. I live in the state of West Virginia. Sincerely Pamela Forester

    • Loretta walker says:

      I have a 2 year old granddaughter that I’m not aloud to see. My son is divorced, and they blame me. I am a good mother. I’m missing out on my granddaughter. People send me pictures but it’s not the same.

  3. Mary Byrd says:

    My name is Mary, and after 28 years my husband and I divorced, and this caused me to go into great state of depression and PTSD which made me make bad decisions until I had a nervous breakdown and was hospitalized. Now they have me on medications, and I am better than I have been in years. However, my son and daughter in law refuse to let me see my granddaughter because of all of this. Is there anything that I can do? I love this little girl so much and it is hurting not only me, but her also because we can’t see each other. I had her all the time when I was married.

  4. bigbad wolf says:

    Its all about money and the lies they can tell.
    Here is what you are fighting. It is the sad truth, and a sick sick state of our country.
    http://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/cb/financial_progress_report.pdf

    To What Extent Have Performance-Based Incentives Been Used in Child Welfare?
    While fiscal incentives in child welfare have generally been tied to procedural changes, some examples of performance-based incentives are emerging. At the Federal level, the Adoption and Safe Families Act authorized the first Federal performance-based financial incentive in child welfare, the Adoption Incentive Award. The Administration first proposed this initiative as a cost-effective tool to help meet the President’s goal of doubling the annual number of children adopted from the foster care system by the year 2002. Under the initiative, States that choose to participate and that succeed in increasing over the previous year the number of children adopted from the foster care system will receive a financial incentive of $4,000 for each child, with an additional $2,000 being paid for each adopted child with special needs. The States may spend the financial incentive payment for a variety of child welfare services. While providing States with additional financial resources to serve children and families, the proposal will not cost taxpayers any additional money, since the cost of the incentives will be offset by savings in foster care costs.
    A number of States and localities are also experimenting with various types of performance-based incentives and other innovative mechanisms for financing child welfare services. Michigan, for instance, is using a performance-based incentive system designed to encourage and reward the timely adoption of children from the foster care system. The State of Michigan makes extensive use of private agencies for adoption placement services. Under the State’s adoption incentive, private agencies are rewarded for placing children more quickly, receiving an enhanced rate of $5,600 for placing a child within eight months. If an agency takes longer than 8 months to place a child in an adoptive home, it receives the standard rate of $3,500. Furthermore, private agencies are paid a premium rate of $8,600 for placing a child who is not in the care of that private agency, but who is included in the State’s photolisting book of children who are hard to place.
    A number of other States (some under the auspices of the title IV-E Child Welfare Demonstration waivers, others independently), are experimenting with the use of “managed care” features in child welfare, including some performance-based financing. In some States, such as Tennessee and Florida, States are using fixed- or prospective-payment or blended per diem systems to pay contractors. Under these models, private agencies receive a case rate for each client referred, and the rate represents the average cost of treating all referred clients. Such systems do not necessarily tie funding to a particular standard of performance by the agency or outcome for children. However, they may provide a fiscal incentive to promote improved outcomes in the areas of permanency and child well-being.
    In several locales, however, specific performance-based aspects are included in models of child welfare fiscal reform. For instance, in Kansas where most child welfare services (with the exception of child protective services) have been privatized, the State is monitoring the effectiveness of lead agencies with whom they contract by tracking performance against a series of outcome goals and targets in the areas of family preservation, foster care and adoption. Hamilton County, Ohio, has gone a step further in its performance-based contracting for child welfare services, building in a system of specified bonuses and penalties to be assessed based both on service outcome measures for children and families (e.g. “Children and families will
    receive timely behavioral health services;” and “Services are appropriate to the needs and provided in the least restrictive setting”) and performance indicators for the contractor (e.g. “Providers are paid on a timely basis;” and “Consumers are satisfied with the services in the provider network.”)
    Because both the Federal Adoption Incentive Award and the State and local fiscal reforms are quite new, they will bear further examination and study to learn about their effectiveness in promoting improved outcomes for children and families in the child welfare system, and about challenges or unexpected consequences that may arise during their implementation.
    III. Moving Toward Greater Use Of Federal Performance-Based Incentives In Child Welfare – Key Issues And Questions
    The information presented in this section reflects the Department’s preliminary research a

  5. Kmbrunty says:

    My daughter lost custody of her children while she was living in New York. I haven’t seen my grandchildren in three years because we didn’t have the money to go up there and fight for them. There needs to be better laws that go from state to state. I have no idea right now where my grandchildren are, but I have heard they were going to be adopted. It’s so unfair, but a grandparent doesn’t have any rights unless they have money.

    • Josephine Boyles says:

      You are so right, we are going through the same thing with three of our grandchildren.

  6. Lisa Curtiss says:

    My daughter and I have always been close. We did everything together, and I always had the baby then. She started dating a new guy, and she would keep the baby out at all hours. She was never home. He would yell at the baby to go to sleep or stop crying. I kept telling her she was going to get sick, and she did. I would come home from work and find dirty diapers on the floor, and every dish in the house was dirty. He just didn’t care anymore. So one day I came home and she was gone and I haven’t seen the baby since. She was even in the hospital because her oxygen levels were low and she didn’t call anybody so I guess she doesn’t need her family anymore. I just want to see my granddaughter.

  7. Tara Ellis says:

    I need to know how to get custody of my grandchildren. My sister adopted them, and is neglecting them. I want them. I am a grandfather and want to know how I can get custody?

  8. Ronald Arbogast says:

    My ex son-in-law whips him entirely too hard. After we had him four years now, were not good enough. We’ve had him since he was born.

  9. Beth Landry says:

    Does anyone know if a mother’s parental rights can be terminated without her knowledge? This happened to a friend of mine. It was a shock to discover that when the grandparents tried calling their grandchildren, (who live with their father in another state) that he told them their rights were terminated as grandparents along with the mothers rights. This has caused my friends some harsh grief over the last several years, and continues to affect them greatly. I guess the father of the kids remarried and went to court to take away the biological mom’s rights…..without her knowledge. That should be a crime!

  10. BrokenheartedGrandparent says:

    We are grandparents who are fighting CPS in Jackson County West Virginia. We like many of you have done everything we were told, and have even had foster children placed in our home. They have now made me take a parental fitness evaluation which they have said was bad. Go figure since I was sent to a place of their choice that they paid for. Even though we asked to set it up, and pay for it ourselves. However, we were told it had to go through them. It has been over a year that our grandson was placed in foster care. We do see him UNSUPERVISED every other weekend, so I ask you this, why if we are bad people do we see him unsupervised let alone over night? Our son went to jail for a crime of which he is guilty. However, we cannot be held at fault for the things our grown child has done. We are good people. We have never been in trouble with the law. We both hold full time jobs, and have raised four children of our own. We just want to bring a little boy home where he belongs.

  11. Joanne says:

    If I fear my parents are a danger to my children, can I have their rights revoked?

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