Tag Archives: west virginia

2013 WV Legislature Regular Session

Legislation Pending in Committee as of 2/13/13

  • SB 26: Requiring health insurance coverage for hearing aids under certain circumstances(pending, senate banking and insurance committee, as of 2/13/13)
  • SB 28: Relating to minors obtaining tattoos. (pending, senate health and human resources committee, as of 2/13/13)
  • SB 66: Eliminating requirement that school input data into WVEIS. (pending, senate education committee, as of 2/13/13)
  • SB 73: Establishing criminal penalties for custodian’s failure to report missing child. (pending, senate judiciary committee, as of 2/13/13)
  • SB 77: Relating to wills and descent and distribution upon legal separation (pending, senate judiciary committee, as of 2/13/13)
  • SB 78: Excepting income or earnings from equitable distribution asset in determining spousal support (pending, senate judiciary committee, as of 2/13/13)
  • SB 93: Relating to parental notification of abortion on minor. (pending, senate judiciary committee, as of 2/13/13)
  • SB 105: Waiving adoption filing fees in certain cases (pending, senate judiciary committee, as of 2/13/13)
  • SB 121: Creating Fund for Civil Legal Services for Low-Income Persons (pending, senate judiciary committee, as of 2/13/13)
  • HB 2020: Relating to conditions of bond for defendants in cases of crimes between family or household members (pending, house judiciary committee, as of 2/13/13)
  • HB 2026: Relating to requirements for self-employed persons to participate in the Bureau for Child Support Enforcement’s PayConnextion program. (pending, house judiciary committee, as of 2/13/13)
  • HB 2071: Relating to procedures for writs of execution, suggestions and suggestee executions relating to child support and spousal support, and increasing the statute of limitations (pending, House Judiciary Committee, as of 2/13/13)
  • HB 2089: Uniform Premarital Agreement Act (pending, house judiciary committee, as of 2/13/13)
  • HB 2110: Providing the visitation to a grandparents shall consist of a minimum of one visit a month (pending, house judiciary committee, as of 2/13/13)
  • HB 2146: Relating to conduct and circumstances of child abuse (pending, house judiciary committee, as of 2/13/13)
  • HB 2167: Creating the misdemeanor offense for child neglect resulting in a substantial risk of bodily injury (pending, house judiciary committee, as of 2/13/13).
  • HB 2195: Providing for the seizure of assets and other real property used for the exploitation of children. (pending, house judiciary committee, as of 2/13/13)
  • HB 2197: Clarifying that a child who is physically health and presumed safe is a neglected child if the child is habitually absent from school. (pending, house education committee, as of 2/13/13)
  • HB 2201: Relating to child abuse and neglect (pending, house judiciary committee, as of 2/13/13)
  • HB 2220: Prohibiting sex offenders from residing in certain areas and subjecting convicted sex offenders to global positioning system monitoring (pending, house judiciary committee, as of 2/13/13).
  • HB 2245: Requiring the use of helmets by skateboarders (pending, house judiciary committee, as of 2/13/13).
  • HB 2251: Providing for the payment of unemployment compensation when a person misses work due to domestic violence (pending, house judiciary committee, as of 2/13/13)
  • HB 2270: Increasing the effective period for domestic violence protective orders (pending, house judiciary committee, as of 2/13/13)
  • HB 2293: Reducing from six months to three months the period of delinquency for failure to meet an obligation to pay support to a minor. (pending, house judiciary committee, as of 2/13/13)
  • HB 2296: Establishing a bill of rights for children in foster care. (pending, house judiciary committee, as of 2/13/13)
  • HB 2297: Establishing a bill of rights for foster parents. (pending, house judiciary committee, as of 2/13/13)
  • HB 2298: Providing guidance for prosecuting attorneys in cases involving abuse and neglected children (pending, house judiciary committee, as of 2/13/13). 
  • HB 2299: Requiring certain insurance companies to participate in information data matches with the Bureau of Child Support Enforcement. (pending, house judiciary committee, as of 2/13/13)
  • HB 2300: regulating the use of the internet by children (pending, house judiciary committee, as of 2/13/13).
  • HB 2305: BPA-Free Kids Act (pending, house health and human resources committee, as of 2/13/13).
  • HB 2314: Authorizing a family court judge to order a child to be taken into custody in emergency situations(pending, house judiciary committee, as of 2/13/13).
  • HB 2324: Increasing the minimum prison sentence for a parent, guardian, or custodian who abuses a child. (pending, house judiciary committee, as of 2/13/13)
  • HB 2338: Requiring a convicted sex offender who volunteers for an organization whose volunteers have contact with minors to inform that organization of his/her conviction. (pending, house judiciary committee, as of 2/13/13)
  • HB 2349: Increasing the number of child protective service workers (pending, house health and human resources committee, as of 2/13/13).
  • HB 2400: Relating to disclosure of sex offender registration to private elementary and secondary schools, and to higher education institutions (pending, house education committee, as of 2/13/13).
  • HB 2409: Relating to child welfare (pending, house judiciary committee, as of 2/13/13)
  • HB 2424: Relating to automatic revocation of a will upon legal separation and excluding from the definition of “surviving spouse.” (pending, house judiciary committee, as of 2/13/13)

WVSC Opinion: Mayle v. Mayle (Filed June 8, 2012)

Facts:    Parties were married in 1984.  Both parties originally worked and earned close to the same amount.  The parties agreed that Husband would go to medical school.   While Husband was in medical school, Wife worked outside the home.  Once Husband completed his formal medical education, the parties agreed that Wife would become a full-time homemaker and caretaker for their 3 children.  When the parties separated in 2007, Wife was unemployed and Husband’s income was over $300,000 per year.

Family Court Order:

  • Spousal Support: Wife awarded rehabilitative alimony of $1,500/month for 6 months and permanent spousal support of $5,500/ month for 10 years, after which the amount would be reduced to $1,500.    Family Court’s basis for the reduction was that Wife app ears in good health, very smart and organized, reasonable well-educated with a good head for business per her training and prior work experience. Even though no evidence was presented the Family Court also found that Wife may assume a greater role in her family’s business.
  • Attorney’s Fees: Wife requested reimbursement of attorney fees in the amount $20,000, with an additional $2,000 incurred in costs.  Wife’s attorney charged a flat fee of $20,000, without regard to the actual number of hours worked or an hourly charge.The Family Court denied Wife’s request for attorney fees and costs because Wife had sufficient assets awarded to her to pay her own fees, neither party had acted in bad faith during the proceedings, and her fees were significantly greater than those incurred by Husband.

Wife appealed.

Circuit Court affirmed the decision of the family court.

Issue #1: Amount of Support Awarded. Family Court erred  in award of Rehabilitative Spousal Support and grant of permanent support of $5,500.

Affirmed. Supreme Court found no abuse of discretion in award of rehabilitative spousal support and the grant of permanent spousal support in the amount of $5,500.

Issue #2: Reduction in Spousal Support. Family Court erred in reducing the amount of support to $1,500 after 10 years.

Reversed. The reduction was based on speculative events that may or may not happen.  It was error for Family Court to issue a preemptive modification without sufficient evidence to support the reduction. (Editor’s Note: Court points out that there may be case where reduction is appropriate, but in this case, there was no evidence).

Issue #3: Attorney’s Fees. Family Court erred in denying Wife’s request for reimbursement of attorney fees and costs in the amount $20,000, with an additional $2,000 incurred in costs.  Wife’s attorney charged a flat fee of $20,000, without regard to the actual number of hours worked or an hourly charge.
Reversed.  Abuse of discretion not to award some measure of fees.    This case turns on the disparity between the income of the Wife (unemployed) and the income of the Husband ($300,000+). Wife lacked actual cash assets to pay attorney fees while Husband had present ability to contribute.
The lower court was instructed to appropriately analyze the factors enumerated by the Court in Banker.

   Read the Opinion Here: http://www.courtswv.gov/supreme-court/docs/spring2012/11-0344.pdf 

Read Concurring Opinion of Justice Workman here:  http://www.courtswv.gov/supreme-court/docs/spring2012/11-0344c.pdf