James M. v. Maynard

In James M. v. Maynard, 185 W.Va. 648, 408 S.E.2d 400 (1991), the Court required the circuit court to establish a plan for a gradual shift of custody. In syllabus point three of James M., this Court held as follows: "It is a traumatic experience for children to undergo sudden and dramatic changes in their permanent custodians. Lower courts in cases such as these should provide, whenever possible, for a gradual transition period, especially where young children are involved. Further, such gradual transition periods should be developed in a manner intended to foster the emotional adjustment of the children to this change and to maintain as much stability as possible in their lives."