Divorce Guide

Divorce Guide

West Virginia No Fault Divorce

According to West Virginia no fault divorce laws, one can obtain divorce on the grounds of no fault where a spouse need to simply state in the court that the marriage has “irretrievably broken down” owing to “incompatibility of temperament” or irreconcilable differences”. The other grounds of no fault divorce in West Virginia are when the spouses are separate from each other for two years without cohabitation.

The other grounds called the “fault grounds” are also the grounds on which divorce can be obtained in the state of West Virginia. On the basis of cruelty, abandonment, desertion etc (these are fault grounds), the divorce can be obtained.

Residential requirements in West Virginia no fault divorce

In order to obtain divorce in the state of West Virginia, at least one spouse must be the resident for 12 months if the marriage was out of the state. If the marriage had taken place in West Virginia then there are no residential requirements at all.

Alimony in West Virginia no fault divorce

Alimony or spousal support is awarded to the spouse who is financially weaker. According to WV no fault divorce laws, the factors determining alimony amounts are age and health of that spouse, employability of the spouse, inflation rates in the market etc. Courts ask the financially stronger spouse to extend alimony either in lump sum or in installments. The alimony amount can be for rehabilitative purposes till the “weaker spouse” picks up a good employment or may be a permanent one. It is important to note that the matters of alimony or spousal support are generally settled “outside the court” by the spouses. This is to ensure that the trial process takes lesser time and is also economical. It is only when the spouses are unable to reach an agreement that courts take decisions on spousal support. In many cases of fault grounds, the “innocent spouse” may get a larger share of alimony, but that depends on the “wrongdoing”.

Property division in West Virginia no fault divorce

The matter of property division is lasso settled among the spouses usually “outside the court” in no fault cases. If there are disputes over the division of assets and debts, then the courts may intervene. West Virginia is an “equitable property “division state. Here, judges at the beginning try to divide the marital property (which was acquired during the course of the marriage) into two halves. And then listen to arguments as to why they must not do so. The “separate property” of the spouses which they had acquired before the marriage or after the divorce was filed is not affected during property division. It is only in very rare cases that the separate property of an individual spouse is invaded to take care of the financial needs of the financially weaker spouse.

Child custody in West Virginia no fault divorce

In most of the no fault divorce cases, spouses try to draft a parenting plan and visitation schedule with the help of “custody mediation”, “outside the court”. This is to avoid the child getting dragged in the messy court battles. Also a parenting agreement formulated by them, saves them a lot of money and time also.

In case, the parents are not able to reconcile over the matter of child custody, then the courts would intervene. Courts would follow child custody guidelines of West Virginia and keep the “best interests of the child” as the top most priority.

The choice of having no fault or fault grounds lie with the spouse filing for divorce. In many cases a person may file no fault grounds for divorce even if there is substantial “wrongdoing” on the part of the other spouse. This is to reduce the agony of a court trial and also save lot of money. One may file for fault grounds if one is sure that he/she has an edge over the other spouse on the matter of child custody or property division. The right decision to choose the grounds for divorce can be advised by the attorney.

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