Filing for divorce in WV can be a complicated, expensive, and emotional legal process. The stress of making a major life change is compounded by administrative paperwork and court hearings, making decisions even more difficult. The professional support of an attorney who understands WV divorce laws is an essential resource during this time.
Grounds for Filing for Divorce in WV
West Virginia Code lists nine circumstances that qualify as grounds to petition for divorce in the state. The possible grounds for divorce in WV are voluntary separation, irreconcilable differences, cruel or inhumane treatment, a conviction for a crime, adultery, permanent and incurable insanity, habitual drunkenness or drug addiction, abuse or neglect of a child, or desertion. The spouse who is accused is permitted to answer the petition to defend the charges. Because the issues are complicated, it’s best to confer with an attorney to be sure you have grounds for divorce in Boone County, WV and surrounding areas.
WV Divorce Laws and Temporary Divorce Orders
The petition for divorce is the first step in a WV divorce, followed by the other party’s response or defense. At this point, the court can provide a temporary order of divorce to establish each party’s marital rights and obligations during the divorce process. This provides clarification of each person’s responsibilities and can include:
- Spousal support;
- Parenting orders and child support;
- Payment of attorney and court fees;
- Payment of healthcare and hospitalization costs;
- Occupancy and preservation of the marital home or properties; and,
- Use and possession of motor vehicles.
Division of Assets When Filing for Divorce in WV
Once a temporary order of divorce is in place, the divorce proceeds to the discovery phase. During this time, your divorce attorney will assist in gathering all the needed information to finalize your divorce. This can include an informal sharing of necessary documents or formal discovery requests to obtain financial and legal information that can determine spousal or child support orders. This step may also require depositions from the involved parties.
Assets that should be appraised and considered during the discovery process include the family home and properties, retirement and investment accounts, and insurance policies. An experienced family law attorney will help you to protect your investments, prepare the necessary legal documentation, and represent you in court at the hearing.
Finalizing a Divorce in WV
Once the discovery process is completed and all necessary paperwork is filed, WV divorces proceed to a final hearing. During this stage, legal custody of minor children, parenting plans, court-ordered parenting classes, and child support will be determined. This is also when details set under the temporary divorce order may be modified or established as part of the final divorce decree.
Get Help from Southern WV Divorce Lawyers
Amongst southern WV divorce lawyers, Jason Harwood of Harwood Legal, PLLC stands out due to his experience as both a family law judge and divorce attorney. Reach out to discuss your case today by calling 304-752-5015 or completing this online contact form to get professional support when you are filing for divorce in WV.