The West Virginia 3StepDivorce™ Help Center
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If you have questions about how it works, please call us toll free at 1-800-680-9052 Mon.- Fri. 9am to 5pm EST.
We provide unlimited support for all of our customers. We take great pride in being able to respond to our customers in a "human" to "human" approach (as you can see, we do not hide our toll free number 1-800-680-9052). We understand the need a customer may have to talk to a person rather than the typical automated voice or e-mail support system. Please keep in mind that we are not lawyers and we do not give out legal advice. If you need legal advice we recommend that you contact a lawyer in your area.
FAQS About West Virginia 3StepDivorce™
Can I file for my divorce in the State of West Virginia?
In almost all cases, you file for a divorce in the state where you reside. This means that if you are a resident of West Virginia, you file in West Virginia and are governed by West Virginia's divorce laws even if you were married, for example, in California.
You must meet West Virginia's residency requirement for a West Virginia court to have jurisdiction over your divorce.
Will West Virginia 3StepDivorce™ work in my situation?
West Virginia 3StepDivorce™ works as long as both you and your spouse agree about everything, and both of you are willing to sign the divorce paperwork.
You do not have to sign the papers together, at the same time and place, but the West Virginia 3StepDivorce™ requires both spouses to sign.
Does West Virginia 3StepDivorce™ work if I have children?
It sure does. The West Virginia 3StepDivorce™ deals with all issues regarding children, including but not limited to, physical and legal custody, visitation and support, care, health insurance and tax deductions.
Do I need a lawyer to file for divorce in West Virginia?
Not with West Virginia 3StepDivorce™. Thousands of people divorce in West Virginia every year without hiring a lawyer. West Virginia 3StepDivorce™ gives you all the divorce documents required by the court.
When spouses cannot agree about the terms and conditions of their divorce, they sometimes end up in court where a judge makes decisions for them. This is called a contested divorce, and hiring a lawyer is a good idea in this case.
But when a case is uncontested - when you and you spouse agree about everything - filing your own divorce cuts legal costs and leaves both spouses with more money each can surely use when they begin their new lives as single people.
What are the residency requirements for a West Virginia divorce?
The residency requirements for a divorce in West Virginia are as follows:
One of the spouses must be a resident of West Virginia for at least one year, except if the marriage happened in the state, the one-year requirement is waived. If the Respondent is resident, the Petitioner may file in the county where the parties had cohabited or in the county where the Respondent resides. If the Respondent is not a resident, the Petitioner may bring the action in the county where the parties last cohabited or in the county where the Petitioner resides.
Must I prove that I am a resident of West Virginia in order to file for my divorce?
Yes. The divorce paperwork requires a signed authentication that you have been a resident of West Virginia for at least the past year.
This is a state law.
Signing false statements is perjury.
If the court requires proof for some reason, typically a West Virginia driver's license or state identification is sufficient. An affidavit of a corroborating witness testifying about your residency also works.
What if my spouse does not live in West Virginia?
Your spouse does not need to live in West Virginia to use 3StepDivorce™. After you have printed all the divorce paperwork, you simply mail the documents to your spouse and he or she signs them. After your spouse returns them, you file in your local county court.
Very often divorcing spouses live in different states.
What are the grounds for filing a divorce in West Virginia?
You must choose one of the following grounds to divorce in West Virginia. Without instructions to the contrary, West Virginia 3StepDivorce™ automatically selects the most common ground used for uncontested actions. However, if a different ground is desired, our support team makes the changes upon request.
The grounds for divorce in West Virginia are as follows:
No Fault: a) The parties have lived separate and apart in separate places without any cohabitation and without interruption for one year. The separation may be an act of one of the parties or by mutual consent of both. b) Irreconcilable differences between the parties.
Fault: a) reasonable apprehension of bodily harm, b) false accusation of adultery or homosexuality, c) conduct or treatment that destroys or tends to destroy the mental or physical well being, happiness and welfare of the other and render continued cohabitation unsafe or unendurable, d) adultery, e) felony conviction, f) permanent and incurable insanity, g) habitual drunkenness or drug use, h) willful neglect or abuse of a spouse or child.
How long does a divorce take in West Virginia?
Once the divorce paperwork has been filed in court, it usually takes 30 to 90 days for a divorce to be final. The start to finish time of the divorce may vary depending on the caseload of the court and the availability of judges to sign the final Decree of Divorce.
3StepDivorce™ saves time because all lengthy delivery times are eliminated when you print your documents from your computer. You control revisions and reprintings as necessary.
Do I have to appear in court?
In West Virginia, a divorce hearing is not typically required unless you and your spouse have children. If there are children involved, a short hearing, generally about 15 minutes, gives the court an opportunity to make certain that you understand the parameters of custody, visitation and support that are ordered as part of your divorce.
If there are no children, the process in very streamlined. Since you and your spouse are in agreement, there is nothing for the court to decide.
After my divorce, how long do I have to wait in West Virginia before I can remarry?
There is no mandatory waiting period is West Virginia.
Does West Virginia permit a name change as part of the divorce?
Yes. 3StepDivorce™ includes a protocol for the wife to take back her former or birth name as part of the filing. It is easier to effect a name change during the divorce rather than after the divorce is finalized. Name change questions are part of the account, and divorce documents are prepared appropriately.
Does West Virginia 3StepDivorce™ address the division of our property and debt?
Separate and marital property and debt is identified and addressed in your 3StepDivorce™ account. A series of questions itemizes property and debt, dividing and allocating both. The answers become part of the divorce documents, so it is clear to you, your spouse and the court how assets and liabilities have been divided.
Will I be able to address our retirement accounts?
Yes. You answer a few questions dealing with individual retirement accounts. You have the option of waiving rights to each other's account(s), or dividing any marital portion of an account by a specific percentage or a dollar amount.
What about the marital home?
Once again, a few questions inside your account deal with the disposition of the marital home. All possible scenarios are covered -- sale, planned sale, transfer from one spouse to the other, and co-ownership.
A home is often the largest asset a married couple has, and a significant portion of the divorce documents deal with this asset.
Will I be able to address spousal support?
A few questions in your account deal with temporary or permanent spousal support. Rights to spousal support may be waived, or a couple can agree to a specific amount for a set period of time. These questions define and limit the parameters of the desired spousal support, which often terminates upon remarriage or cohabitation.
Does West Virginia require child support?
West Virginia requires that a support order be put in place for all children.
You and your spouse have some latitude on the amount of child support based on your economic situation. If your situation warrants it, you can enter "O" as the support amount, and that is how the support order reads.
Child support and visitation are separate issues, and a divorcing couple may not use one to leverage the other.
3StepDivorce™ provides the West Virginia Child Support Guideline Worksheet, so you can easily calculate the state's recommendation for monthly support, but you have the option of taking these recommendations under advisement. The courts realize that you and your spouse know your situation better than they do, so they will approve any reasonable support amount, even if it is different from the one on the state worksheet.
How do I calculate how much child support I owe?
We provide West Virginia Child Support Worksheets inside your account. These worksheets make it very easy to calculate a monthly support amount. The support calculation is based on a number of variables, but the primary one is income.
Once you have calculated the amount, you and your spouse decide if you want to deviate from it and the reasons for doing so.
Can I deviate from the West Virginia child support guideline?
Yes. Once you and your spouse agree to a monthly child support amount, a judge reviews your decision. He or she will accept it if it seems reasonable. However, if it seems too high or too low, the judge will want an explanation why the two of you came to amount so much at variance from the state guidelines. Your explanation and reasons for it determine whether or not the judge accepts your proposed child support amount.
How do I know when I can deviate from the West Virginia child support guidelines?
West Virginia permits deviation from its child support guidelines when the parents do not agree on a reasonable support amount. In permitting deviation, the court considers the following factors: 1) Special needs of the child or support obligor, including but not limited to, the special needs of the minor or adult child who is physically or mentally disabled; 2) Educational expenses for the child or the parent (i.e., those incurred for private, parochial or trade schools, other secondary schools, or post-secondary education where there is tuition or costs beyond state and local contributions); 3) Families with more than six children; 4) Long distance visitation costs; 5) The child resides with a third party; 6) The needs of an other child or children to whom the obligor owes a duty of support; 7) The extent to which the obligor's income depends on nonrecurring or nonguaranteed income; or 8) Whether the total of spousal support, child support and child care costs subtracted from the obligor's income reduces that income to less than the poverty level and, conversely, whether deviation from the child support guidelines would reduce the income of the child's household to less than the poverty level.
In West Virginia, can child support be modified after the divorce?
Yes. Child support can be modified based on a change in circumstances. In West Virginia, a change in circumstances means "a significant change in circumstances," generally, changes "not considered when the original judgment was entered" that are "permanent and substantial" and/or "affect one's current standard of living."
In West Virginia, can child custody arrangements be modified after the divorce?
Yes. Child custody arrangements can be modified when, for example, they break down because of the conduct of one of the former spouses.
Can we customize our child custody arrangements?
Yes. The terms and conditions of both sole and joint/shared custody are defined. You answer a few questions and your custody arrangements are prepared for you.
Can we specify our visitation/parenting time schedule?
Yes. You can either use a standard schedule that we provide in your account, or you can use our option to customize your own.
In West Virginia, how long do I have to pay child support?
Unless otherwise stated in a child support order, you are no longer required to pay child support in West Virginia when the child turns 18, or if the child is in high school, when he or she turns 20 or graduates, whichever is first.
Child support may extend beyond emancipation because of school or extraordinary medical expenses or conditions.
In West Virginia, do any or all of the divorce documents need to be notarized?
Yes. Some of the divorce papers need to be notarized. The step-by-step filing instructions explain who signs what and whether a particular document needs to be notarized. The documents requiring notarization contain notary clauses below individual signature lines.
Do my spouse and I have to sign and/or notarize the documents at the same time and/or place?
No. If desired, each of you may sign and/or notarize a document at a different time and/or place.
As mentioned, very frequently spouses sign and notarize the documents at different times and places because they live apart in different states. This happens often, for example, when one of them has moved or is in the military.
In West Virginia, where do I file?
In West Virginia, the divorce papers are filed in the County Clerk's Office of the Family Court, which is the local county courthouse, where the Domestic Relations or Family Law department accepts the divorce filing. The divorce documents are submitted to the Clerk of the Courts. You pay a filing fee, and the clerk assigns the case a case number.
What is the filing fee in West Virginia?
In West Virginia, the fees range from $155 to $160. If you want to know the exact amount, you can call the courthouse and ask.
Filing fees underwrite the cost of the court system, but in the case of indigent petitioners these fees may be waived.
How can the fees be waived?
Normally, an indigent petitioner completes a very short form at the time of filing. This form asks the court to waive the fees because of financial hardship.
Can I stop a divorce in West Virginia once I sign up?
Yes. If you have signed up but not filed any divorce papers, then nothing must be done. If you have initiated the action by filing the Petition for Divorce, your case can be dismissed by petitioning the court to do so. Normally, this can only be done by the filing spouse and must be done in writing.
Often the clerk of the court can help a person remove a case from the court docket.
Can I use 3StepDivorce™ in West Virginia if my spouse is incarcerated?
Yes, as long as you can mail (or deliver) the papers to your spouse and he or she signs them, 3StepDivorce™ will work for you.
What documents do I receive with my West Virginia 3StepDivorce™ account?
The documents you receive vary depending upon your individual situation, for example, if you have children.
The West Virginia 3StepDivorce™ includes the following documents:
- West Virginia Filing Instructions
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