Each party in a divorce is required to file a Financial Disclosure Statement listing all known assets and liabilities. A person can be charged with false swearing or be held in contempt for knowingly filing a false statement. This is a fairly standardized form in West Virginia that requires copies of recent Federal Tax Returns, W-2’s and recent employment pay stubs be attached.
Normally all interest accumulated during the year is listed on a tax return, together with information regarding other sources of income. A person’s pay stubs reflect deductions to savings plans, retirement plans, IRAs, insurance, etc. Going through bank statements can give people a wealth of information concerning loan payments and various account information. Lastly, it seems like a lot of people don’t like to be bothered, it is imperative that you make it your business to know your finances during marriage.
Several years ago in West Virginia the law was changed regarding who could file criminal complaints. Under the previous law a private individual could initiate a criminal complaint against someone else.
However, this led to constant abuses:
- People would file retaliatory complaints then come into Court hoping to play an “I’ll drop mine against you if you drop yours against me”;
- Additionally, people were always coming to Court and dismissing the charges they filed when everyone calmed down and made up;
Now a police officer files the Complaint after an investigation. The officer is the Complainant and the “victim” is a witness. Only the Police Officer or the Prosecutor now has the authority to dismiss charges prior to a hearing.
Under West Virginia law, a grandparent of a child residing in West Virginia may apply for Court ordered visitation by filing a motion or petition with the Circuit Court or Family Court of the County where the child resides. However, both the United States Supreme Court and the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals have noted that a fit parent has a fundamental liberty interest in making decisions concerning the upbringing of their children. Courts give considerable deference to a fit parent’s own preference on the matter of grandparent visitation which means a Court is not likely to intervene in a fit parent’s decision. Further, West Virginia law creates a rebuttable presumption against such visitation if the parent is fit. The presumption can only be overcome by producing clear and convincing evidence that grandparent visitation is in the best interest of the child.