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West Virginia Divorce Laws
West Virginia Residency Requirements
In an action for divorce at least one of the spouses must have been a resident of the state for at least 1 year, except if the marriage took place in West Virginia, the 1 year residency requirement is waived. The divorce shall be filed as follows: (a) If the respondent in an action for divorce is a resident of this state, the petitioner has an option to bring the action in the county in which the parties last cohabited or in the county where the respondent resides. (b) If the respondent in an action for divorce is not a resident of this state, the petitioner has an option to bring the action in the county in which the parties last cohabited or in the county where the petitioner resides. (West Virginia Code - Sections: 48-5-201)
West Virginia Divorce Grounds:
(1) the parties have lived separate and apart in separate places of abode without any cohabitation and without interruption for one year. The separation may occur as a result of the voluntary act of one of the parties or the mutual consent of both parties. (b) Irreconcilable differences between the two parties. (West Virginia Code - Sections: 48-5-202 and 48-5-209)
West Virginia Property and Debt Division
The court shall divide the marital property of the parties equitably between the parties after a consideration of the following: (A) The extent to which each party has contributed to the acquisition, preservation and maintenance, or increase in value of marital property by monetary contributions; (B) The extent to which each party has contributed to the acquisition, preservation and maintenance or increase in value of marital property by nonmonetary contributions; (C) The extent to which each party expended his or her efforts during the marriage in a manner which limited or decreased such party's income-earning ability or increased the income-earning ability of the other party; (D) The extent to which each party, during the marriage, may have conducted himself or herself so as to dissipate or depreciate the value of the marital property of the parties. The court may award the exclusive use and occupancy of the marital home to a party. An order granting use and occupancy of the marital home shall include the use of any necessary household goods, furniture and furnishings. The order shall establish a definite period for the use and occupancy, ending at a specific time set forth in the order, subject to modification upon the petition of either party. Fault or marital misconduct shall not be considered by the court in determining the proper distribution of marital property. (West Virginia Code - Sections: 48-5-604, 48-5-612, 48-7-101)
West Virginia Spousal Support, Maintenance, or Alimony:
The court shall consider the following factors in determining the amount of spousal support to ordered in lieu of any signed separation agreement: (A) The length of time the parties were married; (B) The period of time during the marriage when the parties actually lived together as husband and wife; (C) The present employment income and other recurring earnings of each party from any source; (D) The income-earning abilities of each of the parties, based upon such factors as educational background, training, employment skills, work experience, length of absence from the job market and custodial responsibilities for children; (E) The distribution of marital property to be made under the terms of a separation agreement or by the court (F) The ages and the physical, mental and emotional condition of each party; (G) The educational qualifications of each party; (H) Whether either party has foregone or postponed economic, education or employment opportunities during the course of the marriage; (I) The standard of living established during the marriage; (J) The likelihood that the party seeking spousal support, child support or separate maintenance can substantially increase his or her income-earning abilities within a reasonable time by acquiring additional education or training; (K) Any financial or other contribution made by either party to the education, training, vocational skills, career or earning capacity of the other party; (L) The anticipated expense of obtaining the education and training described in subdivision (M) above; (N) The costs of educating minor children; (O) The costs of providing health care for each of the parties and their minor children; (P) The tax consequences to each party; (Q) The extent to which it would be inappropriate for a party, because said party will be the custodian of a minor child or children, to seek employment outside the home; (R) The financial need of each party; (S) The legal obligations of each party to support himself or herself and to support any other person; (T) Costs and care associated with a minor or adult child's physical or mental disabilities; and (U) Such other factors as the court deems necessary or appropriate to consider in order to arrive at a fair and equitable grant of spousal support, child support or separate maintenance. (West Virginia Code - Sections: 48-6-301, 48-8-104)
West Virginia Custody and Visitation:
The primary objective of the court is to serve the child's best interests, by facilitating: (A) Stability of the child; (B) Parental planning and agreement about the child's custodial arrangements and upbringing; (C) Continuity of existing parent-child attachments; (D) Meaningful contact between a child and each parent; (E) Caretaking relationships by adults who love the child, know how to provide for the child's needs, and who place a high priority on doing so; (F) Security from exposure to physical or emotional harm; and (G) Expeditious, predictable decision-making and avoidance of prolonged uncertainty respecting arrangements for the child's care and control. (West Virginia Code - Sections: 48-9-102, 48-9-201, 48-11-201)
West Virginia Child Support:
The court will deviate from these guidelines if appropriate by considering the following factors: (A) Special needs of the child or support obligor, including, but not limited to, the special needs of a minor or adult child who is physically or mentally disabled; (B) 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 tax contributions); (C) Families with more than six children; (D) Long distance visitation costs; (E) The child resides with third party; (F) The needs of another child or children to whom the obligor owes a duty of support; (G) The extent to which the obligor's income depends on nonrecurring or non-guaranteed income; or (H) Whether the total of spousal support, child support and child care costs subtracted from an obligor's income reduces that income to less than the Federal Poverty Level. (West Virginia Code - Sections: 48-13-301, 48-13-702
West Virginia Common Questions
How Do I Know if I Should File in West Virginia?
One would typically file for divorce in the state in which he or she or his or her spouse resides. If you have recently moved to a new state and wish to file in that new state, you may have to establish residency prior to filing.
If you are in the military and are stationed on a base outside your residency state, you typically are able to file in that state or in your residency state.
If you are in the military and are stationed overseas, you would typically file in your home residency state.
Can I Use 3StepDivorceTM if I Have Children?
Yes. The system and your documents will address all the issues regarding your children such as, but not limited to; custody arrangements, visitation and time-sharing, child support, and medical coverage.
How Much Are the West Virginia Filing and/or Court Fees?
The filing and/or court fees are not included in our fee and typically range from $50.00 to $350.00 in total depending on your location of filing and whether or not you have children. The 3StepDivorce service will typically help you yield the lowest filing fee for you because both you and your spouse are in agreement.
How Long Will the Process Take in West Virginia?
The process takes an average of less than 1 hour to answer the required questions and generate the documents. Once you file your documents with the court according the filing procedures, the length of time will vary depending on the number of cases in front of yours. Each court has only one or just a few Judges, Masters, or Referees to review all the pending cases.
Should I File or Should My Spouse File?
As a rule of thumb, for uncontested divorces, the spouse who really wants the divorce to be finalized typically does the filing.
Where and How Do I File My Documents?
The documents are filed at your local county courthouse in the family law or domestic relations division or department. Inside your account you will receive step-by-step filing procedures.
Can I Mail or Fax My Documents to the Clerk?
Many courts do permit you to mail and/or fax the documents. This will vary from county to county and state to state, so it will be best to check with the clerk at the courthouse when you are ready to file.
Do I Have to Go to Court in West Virginia?
Depending on your state and your situation, you may or may not have to attend a short hearing. Most of the time when a hearing is required, it only lasts 10-15 minutes and only the filing spouse must attend. The hearing is where you will be granted your divorce and the judge will sign the final judgment or decree.
Do I Have to Also Hire a Lawyer?
3StepDivorce is designed for you to do your own uncontested divorce without hiring a lawyer. You will be acting as your own lawyer and filing for your own divorce. Should you need or desire legal advice or should your divorce become contested, we do suggest you hire the services of a lawyer.
Will My Name Also Be Changed?
The wife has the option to change her name back to her former or maiden name through the 3StepDivorce solution.
When is the Divorce Actually Finalized in West Virginia?
The divorce is typically finalized when the Judge signs the final judgment or decree. We give a window of 30-90 days from the filing date, but this will vary due to case load at the courthouse and any mandatory waiting periods.
West Virginia Divorce Forms
West Virginia Forms: Our question and answer technology will allow you to easily complete your Alaska divorce forms for an uncontested divorce. Our goal is to give you full control and make "doing your own divorce", fast, easy, and affordable.West Virginia Divorce Forms List
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All Your Completed West Virginia Divorce Forms
Everything in Writing As Suggested by Lawyers & Judges
Easy to Follow Step-by-Step Filing Procedures
Instant Delivery & Editing Without the Wait
Unlimited Free E-mail and Phone Product Support
Works With or Without Children
100% Court Approval Guarantee or Your Money Back
Real-Time Customer Ratings and Reviews
This easy to use online divorce is a "do it yourself (without a lawyer)" solution for any uncontested divorce (with or without children) that will be filed in the state of West Virginia. An uncontested divorce is one in which you and your spouse are in agreement and eliminates the stress and expense of settling your divorce in court.
With 3StepDivorceTM you will complete and instantly print your divorce forms (including a marital settlement agreement), and step-by-step filing procedures to file your own divorce in a timely, professional, and hassle free fashion. The online software is designed to give you full control of your divorce and also avoids the use of third party data entry, thus helping protect your personal information and privacy. If you're not ready to file for divorce, learn more about getting your Separation Agreement.
3StepDivorceTM is a premium online divorce solution provided by 3 Step Solutions, LLC, a sister company of Divorce Source, Inc., the owner and operator of the Divorce Source Network, the web's largest and most visited online divorce resource since 1997.
|A sister company of Divorce Source with over 500,000 forms processed since 1997.||Have your completed documents within 1 hour (with or without children)||Instantly print your documents (free delivery by US Priority Mail is also available).||Instantly make changes (gives you full control, the way it should be!)||All required divorce documents ready for signing.|
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