West Virginia Judiciary

Rules of Practice and Procedure for Family Court

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Table of Contents Full Table of Contents
  1. Orders; general provisions
  2. Retroactivity of child support and spousal support orders
  3. Scheduling orders
  4. Motion for reconsideration of family court order

Orders; general provisions
  1. Requirements for timeliness and content. — All orders shall be entered by the court within 20 days of the hearing, except a temporary support order must be entered within one business day of the hearing, and shall contain a provision directing the circuit clerk to provide certified copies to all parties.
  2. Preparation of orders and findings. — In proceedings in which both parties are self-represented, the court shall prepare all orders and findings of fact. In proceedings in which one or both parties are represented by attorneys, the court may assign one or more attorneys to prepare an order or proposed findings of fact. An attorney assigned to prepare an order or proposed findings shall deliver the order or findings to the court no later than ten days after the conclusion of the hearing giving rise to the order or findings. Within the same time period the attorney shall send all parties copies of the draft order or findings together with a notice which informs the recipients to send written objections within five days to the court and all parties. If no objections are received, the court shall enter the order and findings no later than three days following the conclusion of the objection period. If objections are received, the court shall enter an order and findings no later than ten days after the receipt of the objections.
  3. Family court final orders. — A family court final order shall contain language explicitly informing the parties (1) that it is a final order; (2) that any party aggrieved by the final order may take an appeal either to the circuit court or directly to the supreme court of appeals; (3) that a petition for appeal to the circuit court may be filed by either party within thirty days after entry of the final order; and (4) that in order to appeal directly to the supreme court both parties must file, either jointly or separately within fourteen days after entry of the final order, a joint notice of intent to appeal and waiver of right to appeal to circuit court.
  4. Sanctions against attorneys for untimely preparation of orders. — If an attorney assigned to prepare an order or proposed findings fails to prepare the order or findings in a timely manner, or otherwise fails to comply with the provisions of this rule, the court may direct one or more attorneys for other parties to prepare the order or findings; and may require the attorney initially assigned to prepare the order or findings to pay reasonable attorney fees. If, after providing notice and a reasonable opportunity to respond, the court finds that an attorney is still willfully noncompliant with the provisions of this rule, the court may file a complaint with the Office of Disciplinary Counsel, with a copy of the complaint provided to the parties.
  5. Dismissal. — In any action which is pending for more than one year where there has been no order or proceeding, or the petitioner has failed to pay accrued court costs, the court may, in its discretion, order such action to be stricken from its docket; and it shall thereby be discontinued. The court may direct that the order be published in such newspaper named by the court. The court may, on motion, reinstate on its docket any action dismissed under this rule, within one year after entry of the dismissal order; but an order of reinstatement shall not be entered until the accrued costs are paid. Before a court may dismiss an action under this Rule, notice and an opportunity to be heard must be given to all parties of record.

[Amended by order adopted November 27, 2001, effective January 1, 2002; and by order entered and effective December 1, 2005; and by order adopted May 22, 2007, effective July 1, 2007.]


Retroactivity of child support and spousal support orders

Except for good cause shown, orders granting relief in the form of spousal support or child support shall make such relief retroactive to the date of service of the motion for relief.


Scheduling orders
  1. Scheduling orders. — An initial scheduling order shall be entered within¬† 45 days after the filing of the initial pleading.
  2. Content of scheduling orders. — A scheduling order shall contain a notice that any hearing may be converted to a final hearing, and shall include dates for the temporary hearing, if applicable, final hearing, and submission and/or completion of any of the following matters which have not been submitted or completed at the time the order is entered: statements of the issues; updated financial disclosures completed on the form approved by the supreme court of appeals; updated and/or proposed parenting plans; separation agreements; witness and exhibit lists; discovery, investigations, appraisals, tests, or evaluations;¬† premediation screening; parent education courses; and such other matters as the Court shall deem appropriate.
  3. Any final hearing held by the Court that is not a hearing resolving all issues in the case shall require a subsequent scheduling order to be entered within 20 days of the hearing. The content of the scheduling order shall comply with subsection (b) of this rule.
  4. Sanctions for noncompliance with orders. — If a party or attorney fails to comply with an order, fails to attend a scheduled hearing/conference, is substantially unprepared to participate in a scheduled hearing/conference, or fails to participate in good faith, the court may make any of the orders or impose any of the sanctions provided by Rule 16 of the Rules of Civil Procedure.

[Amended by order adopted May 22, 2007, effective July 1, 2007. ]


Motion for reconsideration of family court order

Any party may file a motion for reconsideration of a family court order as provided in W. Va. Code, § 51-2A-10. If an appeal has been filed within the time period for filing a motion for reconsideration, the time for filing a motion for reconsideration will be suspended during the pendency of the appeal.

[Amended by order adopted November 27, 2001, effective January 1, 2002; and by order entered and effective December 1, 2005.]