Sadly, many married couples reach a point at which they’re no longer happy or satisfied with their relationships. If this is something that you can resonate with, you might be considering divorce.
The rules and regulations around divorce depend on where you live in the United State. Divorce rules are governed by unique state laws and you’ll need to know your rights before you file for legal separation from your partner.
We understand that the law can be complicated. That’s why we have created a guide covering everything that you need to know about divorce in West Virginia.
Residency Requirements for Divorce in West Virginia
To legally file for divorce in West Virginia, you must meet the residency requirements of the state, which are as follows:
- If you got married in West Virginia, one of you must live in the state at the time of the divorce. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been living in the state.
- If you were not married in West Virginia, you can legally separate as long as one of you is a resident at the time of the divorce and has been living in the state the year prior.
- If you are getting divorced following adultery, one of you must be a West Virginia resident. If the spouse who isn’t filing for divorce isn’t in West Virginia, the divorce cannot be completed unless the petitioner has been living in the state for at least 12 months before filing.
How to File for Divorce in West Virginia
There are usually two types of divorce that you can file in West Virginia – uncontested and contested.
The former is where both spouses agree to the terms of the divorce, such as child custody and division of assets. The latter is a divorce where one spouse doesn’t agree with the terms.
Filing for Uncontested Divorce
To file for an uncontested divorce in West Virginia, you will need to complete a number of forms, including:
- Petition for Divorce
- Petitioner’s Civil Case Information Statement Domestic Relations Cases
- Information Requested by Division of Vital Statistics
- Financial Statement
If you and your spouse have children, you’ll also need to fill in the Bureau for Child Support Enforcement Application and Income Withholding Form. Once all formed have been filled in, you’ll need to hand them to the court clerk for filing.
Filing for Contested Divorce
If you and your spouse cannot come to an agreement regarding the terms of your divorce, it falls under contested divorce. This will take longer and will cost more money than an uncontested divorce, and it’s much more complex. You may need to hire a divorce attorney.
You may require divorce mediation, where you and your spouse meet with an unbiased, neutral third person (a mediator). The mediator will help the two of you to come to an agreement about the terms of your divorce without needing to take further action in court.
If meditation is successful, you can avoid an expensive, lengthy contested divorce.