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West Virginia Divorce Laws and Working with an Experienced Divorce Lawyer
Filing for divorce in West Virginia isn’t always easy. Even when spouses come to the decision mutually, proceedings can take a turn for the worse at any moment, with parties arguing over property division, spousal support or child custody. It is important for all spouses in West Virginia to know what the state’s laws are when it comes to divorce so they can better protect their rights during proceedings.
Below are some of the state’s rules regarding the dissolution of a marriage:
West Virginia Divorce Residency Requirements
When petitioning for a divorce in West Virginia, certain residency requirements must be met. If the marriage was entered into within the state, then the divorce can be filed if one of the parties is a resident of West Virginia at the time the action is commenced. The length of the residency is not applicable. If the marriage was not entered into within the state, then in order for a divorce petition to be filed, one of the parties must be an actual bona fide resident of the state at the time the cause that led to the action occurred, or has become a resident since then. Additionally, the residency must have continued uninterrupted for one year immediately preceding the filing of the action.
Legal Grounds for Filing Divorce in West Virginia
Parties in West Virginia can file for divorce citing the following grounds:
- Irreconcilable differences
- Living separately and apart without interruption for one year.
- Cruel or inhuman treatment
- Conviction of a felony crime
- Permanent and incurable insanity
- Habitual drunkenness or drug addiction
- Willful abandonment for at least six months
- Abuse of neglect of a child
Property Distribution Rules
West Virginia is an equitable division state, which means that marital property will be divided fairly between parties, but not necessarily equally. The court shall consider several factors when dividing property, including the extent to which each party contributed to the acquisition and each party’s income.
Spousal support may be awarded to either party and will be based on factors such as the length of the marriage, each spouse’s present employment, the distribution of marital property, and the standard of living established during the marriage.
Obtaining the Help of a Divorce Lawyer in West Virginia
There are several details involved in a divorce case that parties can overlook, leading them to forsake what would have been their rightful benefits. It is important that parties obtain the help of an experienced divorce attorney in West Virginia in order to make sure their rights are protected and so the case resolves as quickly as possible.
A divorce lawyer will handle every aspect of your case, from filling out paperwork to mediating with your spouse so matters can be resolved fairly. Contact one of our featured West Virginia divorce lawyers so you can discuss your case options and ensure proceedings run as smoothly and resolve favorably.