Six Steps to No-fault Divorce in West Virginia
When You and Your Spouse Both Agree the Marriage Is Over
If you and your spouse both agree that your marriage is over, you can pursue a no-fault divorce in West Virginia. Irreconcilable differences are recognized by law as a valid reason for the dissolution of a marriage in this state. If you and your spouse both agree and admit that the marriage is over, your divorce can proceed right away. If you both can also come to amicable agreements outside of court regarding property division, child custody, and other matters, you will just attend court hearings as scheduled, complete the paperwork, and your divorce can be finalized relatively quick. Isner Law Office is ready to assist you every step of the way whether you are both in complete agreement, require mediation services, a bit of legal guidance, or aggressive legal defense to safeguard your future, our legal team is here for you.
When Is a One-year Separation Period Required for Divorce?
In many cases, one spouse takes the position that the marriage cannot be salvaged, but the other does not agree. In this case, a voluntary separation period of one year must precede the filing of the no-fault divorce petition. If either party resumes living together in the same residence during this time, the separation period may be considered invalid.
Ready to File For Divorce?
When you are ready to file for divorce, the following steps will help ensure that the dissolution of your marriage proceeds as smoothly as possible. If you prefer, Isner Law Office will handle everything for you to help minimize the stress during what can be one of the most emotionally challenging times in life.
1. Determine which documents are applicable to your case and collect them.
A series of paperwork must be filed with the court to begin the divorce process. These may include: Divorce Petition, Vital Statistics Change Form, Financial Statement, Case Information Statement, Income Withholding Form (Child Support), and the Registration Form for Parent Education Class.
2. Fill out the forms.
Decide whether your no-fault divorce petition will cite irreconcilable differences or will be based on a successful one-year period of separation. Be prepared to certify that you were married in the state of West Virginia and that at least one spouse still lives in the state.
3. File the Divorce Petition.
You may either file your Divorce Petition at the county courthouse where you were married or with the circuit court clerk where you and/or your spouse live now. Your spouse will be served with the Divorce Petition via certified mail or via sheriff.
4. Complete the Parent Education Course.
If children are involved and will be impacted by the divorce, you must register for the mandatory Parent Education Course. You should submit this registration with your Divorce Petition. You will be scheduled for the class and notified of the details.
5. Develop a Parenting Plan.
Based on what you learned at the Parent Education Course, divorcing parents of children will develop a Parenting Plan that meets all legal requirements. Legal and physical custody and visitation arrangements must be specified in writing and agreed to by both parents. If you cannot both agree, you may each submit a separate plan and go through the legal process to determine how parenting will continue following the divorce. Submit the Parenting Plan to the court as soon as possible.
6. Attend Your Divorce Hearing.
If your Parenting Plan has already been agreed to by both you and your spouse and submitted to the court, your divorce may be granted at your initial court hearing. If any specific issues
remain unresolved, mediation and additional hearings may be required before the divorce is finalized.
If you will be filing for divorce under traditional grounds for divorce, such as desertion, adultery, etc., additional evidence to support the allegations will be required. Whether filing for no-fault divorce or via at-fault grounds for divorce (or responding to a divorce petition) in West Virginia, contact Isner Law Office for legal counsel to help ensure that your interests are protected throughout the entire process. Call: 304-636-7681.