Our 3StepDivorceTM Online Divorce for West Virginia is offered with a peace-of-mind 100% guarantee.
We offer a 100% guarantee that the documents provided will be accepted by the West Virginia courts to finalize your divorce.
In the event that the documents provided are not accepted by the West Virginia court due to the fault of 3StepDivorceTM, you will be provided a 100% refund (with no handling fee).
Our support staff will always give each individual customer personal attention should they have difficulty. We have both e-mail and phone support. This being said, prior to issuing a refund, we reserve the right to meet any courts requests regarding changes to the documents.
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
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 Forms: Our question and answer technology will allow you to easily complete your West Virginia 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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A total of 73 people have started their divorce through 3StepDivorceTM in the last 24 hours and 768 in the last 10 days. The streamlined and user-friendly process, instant document delivery, and unlimited free support makes us the go-to solution to do your own divorce. Our simple and inexpensive process provides you with all your completed divorce papers in as little as 20 minutes. Instantly access your completed divorce forms after a short online interview. It is that easy, no lengthy completion or delivery times.
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 3StepDivorce TM you can complete and print your divorce forms (including a marital settlement agreement) instantly. Then, follow our step-by-step filing procedures to file your own divorce in West Virginia in a timely, professional, and hassle free fashion. The online software is designed to give you full control of your WV no fault 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 in West Virginia, learn more about getting your Separation Agreement or learn more about the basics of divorce in West Virginia .
Filing for divorce can seem overwhelming. Like starting almost any other legal proceeding, it takes finding the right forms, filling out the forms properly, and understanding the court’s requirements for the next steps you’ll need to take.
Traditionally, most people have hired a lawyer to take care of all the legal matters in their divorce. But more and more couples are turning to a much cheaper option that’s still easier than figuring out everything on their own: filing for divorce online.
If you want to know more, read on for answers to some of the most common questions about online divorce in West Virginia.
West Virginia 3StepDivorce™ takes care of the divorce paperwork for you. Once you sign up for the service, you’ll answer some questions about your situation. Based on your responses to the questionnaire, West Virginia 3StepDivorce™ will fill out the forms the state requires to start the divorce process, along with instructions for adding any further information that’s needed. You’ll be able to print out the forms yourself immediately or, if you prefer, get hard copies by mail.
West Virginia has two basic requirements to file for divorce in the state: a legally recognized reason for ending your marriage and state residency.
West Virginia law allows both “no-fault” and “fault-based” legal reasons (“grounds”) for divorce. When you file for a fault-based divorce, you must claim that your spouse is to blame for the end of your marriage by committing a certain type of misconduct (like adultery, addiction, desertion, or child abuse). Because you’ll have to prove that claim, fault-based divorces almost always cost more and take longer to resolve—without any advantage in the vast majority of cases.
To file for a no-fault divorce, you and your spouse may simply agree that you have “irreconcilable differences.” Basically, that means that you can’t get along, and there’s no reasonable hope that will change. (W. Va. Code § 48-5-201 (2022).)
If your spouse won’t agree to declare (in the answer to your divorce petition) that you have irreconcilable differences, you could still get a no-fault divorce, but you would have to be separated for a full year (living apart in different homes, with no sexual relations) before you could get divorce. And that separation must be voluntary, at least for one of you. (Va. Code § 48-5-202 (2022).)
Not surprisingly, most divorcing couples in West Virginia choose to file based on irreconcilable differences. That’s also the only way to qualify for a quick and cheap uncontested divorce (more on that below).
West Virginia has different residency requirements for getting divorced in the state, depending on where you and your spouse were married:
(W. Va. Code § 48-5-105 (2022).)
Many West Virginia residents can get through the divorce process without hiring a lawyer if they’re filing for an “uncontested divorce” in the state. That means that they’ve agreed with each other about all of the legal issues in their divorce, including:
If you still have disagreements with your spouse about these or any other issues involved in ending your marriage, you’ll have to file for a traditional, contested divorce. Because that will involve legal battles and presenting evidence and arguments at court hearings, it would be risky to pursue a contested divorce without a lawyer to navigate the process for you—especially if your spouse has an attorney.
You may use West Virginia 3StepDivorce™ if you meet the state’s residency requirement and have an uncontested divorce. That means that you and your spouse:
West Virginia 3StepDivorce™ will guide you through the process of creating this agreement, based on your answers to the questionnaire.
If you aren’t ready to file for divorce, West Virginia 3StepDivorce™ can also help you with a separation agreement. For instance, you might want to work out arrangements for support, custody of your children, who has to move out of the family home, and how to take care of the bills while you’re separated but still legally married.
Just because you haven’t been able to agree with your spouse about everything in your divorce, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to go through an expensive and time-consuming contested divorce. You could try divorce mediation. If you’re able to resolve your disagreements with the mediator’s help, you can then use West Virginia 3StepDivorce™ to prepare the written settlement agreement, along with the other divorce paperwork.
Generally, you can use West Virginia 3StepDivorce™ even when you have minor children with your spouse, as long as you agree on all of the issues related to your kids, including legal and physical custody, a parenting (visitation) schedule, child support, health and dental insurance, and tax deductions. West Virginia 3StepDivorce™ will allow you to address these issues in your settlement agreement. We provide a standard parenting schedule, but you’ll have an option of customizing the schedule to meet your individual needs.
However, you won’t be able to address custody-related issues with West Virginia 3StepDivorce™ if the affected child or children don’t meet the “home state” requirement. Usually, that means the child must have lived in West Virginia with a parent (or a parent figure) during the entire six-month period before you file for divorce (or since birth if the child is younger than six months old). If you don’t meet the six-month rule, you should speak with an attorney to find out whether you might qualify for one of the complicated exceptions to this rule. (W. Va. Code §§ 48-20-102(g), 48-20-201 (2022).)
In West Virginia, both parents have an obligation to support their children. And like all states, West Virginia has child support guidelines for calculating how much support the parents should pay, based largely on their incomes and custody arrangements.
3StepDivorce™ provides West Virginia’s child support worksheets for calculating the state's guideline level of support for your parenting arrangement. You and your spouse may agree to an amount of child support that differs from the guideline amount, but the judge will need to approve your agreement and make it part of a formal court order.
West Virginia law requires that any time the amount of child support deviates from the guideline, the judge must find that applying the guideline would be “inappropriate” under the circumstances. Those circumstances might include children’s special needs, extra costs for visitation when the parents live far apart, and large families. (W. Va. Code § 48-13-702 (2022).)
In your settlement agreement, you and your spouse may include child support provisions that aren’t legally required, such as a parent’s contributions to private school tuition or the cost of a child’s college education. You may also agree on some specific questions like which parent will claim the children as dependents on tax returns.
After your divorce in West Virginia is final, you (or your spouse) may request a change in the amount of child support, but you’ll need to show that your circumstances have changed substantially. In order to meet that standard, the guideline amount of support under the changed circumstances would have to be at least 15% higher or lower than the support level in the existing order. The judge will review your request based on the same legal requirements for an original child support order. (W. Va. Code § 48-11-105 (2022).)
If you want to save the time and expense of a court battle over a request to modify child support, you and your spouse may agree to a modification on your own. But you’ll still have to file a request and submit your agreement for the judge’s review, so that the new amount will be included in a formal court order.
The West Virginia Judiciary’s Family Court Forms page includes instructions and the form for an expedited modification based on a substantial change in financial circumstances.
You can get help with a child support modification by asking the West Virginia Bureau of Child Support Enforcement (BCSE) to review your existing support order to see if it should be changed under the guidelines, based on your current financial situation. Contact the local BCSE office in the county where your divorce or previous support order was issued.
When you fill out your questionnaire for West Virginia 3StepDivorce™, you’ll answer a series of questions about your separate and marital property and debts, including how you’ll divide your marital property and allocate responsibility for payment of the marital debts.
If you own a home with your spouse, your agreement can spell out what will happen to it when you get divorced. Here again, the questionnaire will include a few questions about the property and how you’ve chosen to deal with it, such as:
In your West Virginia 3StepDivorce™, you may also agree on whether and how you’ll divide any retirement accounts that you and your spouse have, including 401(k)s, individual retirement accounts (IRAs), and defined-benefit pensions.
If you started contributing to the retirement plan before you were married, you’ll start by figuring out how much of its current value is marital property and how much is your separate property. There are experts and firms that will do this for you (for a fee, of course). The service is usually known as a pension appraisal or valuation. You’ll almost always need this kind of expert help when you’re dealing with a defined-benefit pension.
Once you know the marital value of your work-related retirement accounts, the easiest way to handle the division of the assets is not to split them but to transfer other assets as an offset. Here’s how that works: Say you have a 401(k) through your job, and the marital portion of the account is worth $100,000. If you and your spouse agree to divide that portion down the middle, and you have other marital assets to divide (such as a regular savings account), your spouse could receive an extra $50,000 from those assets while you keep the entire 401(k). That way, you don’t have to hire another expert to prepare the kind of special order that’s needed to tell the 401(k) administrator how to divide the account.
The rules are different for IRAs. You may simply agree to have your spouse’s share transferred to another IRA account in that spouse’s name. (You’ll have to submit a special form to the bank, along with a copy of your divorce decree.)
You and your spouse may waive any right to alimony in your West Virginia divorce, or you may agree on the specifics of alimony payments: who will pay, how much, and for how long. Your agreement may also state whether a court could modify alimony at any time in the future, and it could cover related issues like health insurance and life insurance.
When you get your completed forms with West Virginia 3StepDivorce™, your next step will be file the paperwork with the Circuit Clerk of the West Virginia Family Court in the county:
(W. Va. Code § 48-11-106 (2022).)
The court clerk will charge a fee of $135 for filing the divorce papers. (W. Va. Code § 59-1-111(a)(3) (2022).)
If you can’t afford the filing fee, you may submit a signed and notarized application for fee waiver and financial affidavit. You’ll have to provide detailed information about your income (along with documentation), as well as your expenses and property. If you qualify, you won’t have to pay the filing fee or any other court costs in your divorce.
Even when your divorce is uncontested, you’ll need to attend a hearing to finalize your divorce. The court won’t schedule this hearing until at least 20 days after you’ve served your spouse with the divorce papers. (W. Va. Rules Prac. & Proc. Fam. Ct., rule 21(c) (2022).) If you have children, you’ll also usually have to complete a parent education class before you can get to the hearing stage.
In practice, it usually takes longer than 20 days—typically one to three months—to get your final divorce in West Virginia. Exactly how long will largely depend on the court’s schedule in your county.
West Virginia 3StepDivorce™ provides unlimited, live, person-to-person support for customers. If you have any questions about how uncontested divorce works, call our West Virginia Divorce Online Help Center at (888) 665-6782 (toll free), Monday through Friday from 8 am to 5 pm (Pacific Time).
Please keep in mind that we are not lawyers and so cannot give out legal advice. If you have questions about West Virginia law or need legal advice, we recommend that you contact an experienced family law attorney in your area.
3StepDivorce TM is a premium online divorce solution, a sister company of Divorce Source, the owner and operator of the Divorce Source Network, the web's largest and most visited online divorce resource since 1997.
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