Scales Law Office
Located and practicing in Martinsburg and throughout Eastern West Virginia

Martinsburg West Virginia Family Law Blog

Does a domestic violence accusation doom my child custody chance?

Domestic violence is a matter to be taken seriously. The statistics from NCADV are shocking; in West Virginia, domestic violence is connected to one-third of homicides. Of women who are killed, someone close to them committed the crime in about two-thirds of cases. As for male victims, about a quarter of men in the United States have been the target of a partner's violence.

So, it can be disheartening to be accused of domestic violence when you are going through a child custody battle. Even more frustrating is when the accusation is false, which happens more often than not. Judges have their work cut out for them trying to determine which accusations are real and which are not because the consequences can be so devastating.

Is college tuition a part of child support in West Virginia?

One of the most contentious parts of divorce is child support. Although there are formulas to follow in determining each parent's financial responsibilities to the child, they do not account for every possible circumstance. One such factor is college tuition.

With your child enrolled in post-secondary schooling, you may wonder who is going to continue to pay for higher education. Knowing West Virginia law on the matter can help you determine the answer.

Should you tell your divorcing spouse of a criminal charge?

You are in the middle of the divorce process and get charged with a crime. It could be DUI, assault or something else, but it is your first criminal charge.

One of your concerns may be whether you need to tell your soon-to-be ex-spouse. After all, you should be innocent until proven guilty, right? There is no right answer to the question of whether to tell your spouse, so always follow the advice of your attorney. You may have the same person representing you for your divorce and criminal charge, or your counsel may be separate people. The recommendations may differ depending on the situation.

Criminal records are public information and it is likely that your ex will find out eventually. If you withhold the information and it is pertinent to your divorce/custody case, the family court judge may look unfavorably on you in the future for not fully disclosing the facts during litigation. However, these decisions must be made on a case-by-case basis and you should always speak with your legal counsel before disclosing the charges to other parties, including your ex-spouse.

Determining if your spouse is hiding marital property

Fox Business News calls it financial infidelity and estimates that about six million Americans are hiding money from their significant other. It might be a secret financial account, a hidden credit card or a savings account that the other person is not aware of. People who are living together without the bonds of matrimony are more likely to hide money from the other person, but people who are married might consider it a red flag in the relationship. However, you do not want to jump to conclusions. A secret account could mean many different things:

How to talk to kids about divorce

The end of a marriage is never an ideal situation, but it can be even worse if you have kids in the picture. Explaining the circumstances to them, calming their anxieties and planning for the future might all seem overwhelming when you already have so much on your plate. That is why it is important to talk to your kids about the divorce in a way that is reassuring, positive and constructive. The following tips can offer guidance on what exactly to say.


Scales Law Office
314 West John Street
Martinsburg, WV 25401

Phone: 304-267-9090
Fax: 304-267-9035
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