Griffis v. Griffis – Case Brief Summary (West Virginia)

In Griffis v. Griffis, 202 W. Va. 203, 503 S.E.2d 516 (1998), two identical questions were certified to the court by the Circuit Court of Boone County in three separate cases.

In one case, in which no paternity action was filed, but a subsequent divorce order found that Mr. Griffis was the child's father, the court concluded that the "marriage or remarriage of parents automatically terminates the preexisting child support order; however, mere cohabitation does not." Id. at 205.

The court stated that the "substantial differences that exist between marriage and cohabitation unquestionably compel the conclusion that cohabitation, without marriage, is insufficient to automatically nullify the provisions of an existing court order related to child custody and support." Id. at 211.