Family court judges hear cases involving divorce; annulment; separate maintenance; paternity; grandparent visitation; issues involving allocation of parental responsibility; and family support proceedings, except those incidental to child abuse and neglect proceedings. Family court judges also hold final hearings in domestic violence civil proceedings.
There are forty-seven family court judges who serve twenty-seven family court circuits. Family court judges, who were previously appointed by the governor, were elected in partisan elections for the first time in 2002. Family Court Judges are required to reside in their circuit and must be admitted to practice law in West Virginia for at least five years before taking office. Like Circuit Court Judges, their elections are non-partisan, their terms are for eight years and the Governor appoints a replacement to serve until the next election if a Family Court Judge leaves office prior to the expiration of his or her term.
*This information was taken directly from the West Virginia Judiciary website.