Child Custody Lawyer

Practical Solutions For Parenting Disputes

When parents split up, they rarely see eye to eye on care and custody of the kids. Issues such as child support, relocation or a new love interest only add to the tension.

As your lawyer, I will first and foremost protect your parental rights and your child's best interests. I am James E. Smith II, an experienced courtroom lawyer when you are forced to fight for custody. But from 20-plus years of practice in family law, I know that custody battles can be draining and destructive. I emphasize solutions that are workable and healthy for all involved. After all, you will be co-parenting for years to come.

Custody, Shared Parenting And Visitation

West Virginia's custody statute encourages "shared parenting," but this does not necessarily mean a 50-50 arrangement. Maryland statute refers to "physical legal custody," but this does not necessarily mean full custody. There are also nuances from county to county and from judge to judge in how child custody is handled. From my familiarity with the courts of Mineral, Grant, Allegany and Garrett counties, I can explain where you stand and help you reach a favorable arrangement.

I handle all custody-related matters, in both divorce and paternity cases:

  • Contested custody proceedings
  • Negotiation of parenting plans
  • Visitation (parenting time)
  • Grandparents' rights
  • Parent relocation (seeking or challenging)
  • Modifications of custody
  • Interference with visitation rights
  • No-contact orders

The courts apply a best interest standard when determining the primary residence of a child or whether to allow a parent to move away. If you are fighting to maintain a presence in your child's life, I will fiercely represent you in court.

In many cases, the parents agree on custody but not the details. I can help you work out the details of daily schedules, exchanges, vacations, holidays, education, extracurriculars, religious upbringing and regular contact with the child.

Let's Explore Your Custody Situation

Whether you are in the beginning stages of divorce or revisiting custody orders, experienced counsel is important. As a child custody attorney in Keyser since 1991, I can guide the way to a favorable outcome. Call 304-209-6204 or 877-405-9337, or contact me online, for a consultation.