Are You a Legal Professional?

West Virginia Divorce Laws

Sometimes we just want to flee a bad relationship. Unfortunately, states have quite a few legal hoops to jump through before we can end a marriage. Getting a divorce these days might be easier than ever, but the Mountain State still has some processes you must follow. Here is a quick introduction to divorce laws in West Virginia.

West Virginia Divorce Laws

A state’s legal requirements for divorce set out the process by which we may dissolve a marriage. The details of West Virginia’s divorce laws are listed below.

Code Section

West Virginia Code 48-5-101 et seq.: Divorce

Residency Requirements

If cause is adultery, one party must be resident at time action brought; if defendant is nonresident and service cannot be effected within the state, the plaintiff must have been a resident for 1 yr. prior to commencement of action. If ground other than adultery, one party must be resident at time the cause arose or since then has become a resident and lived in state 1 yr. before action; if parties married in West Virginia, then only one must be resident upon filing-no specified length of time.

Waiting Period

-

'No Fault' Grounds for Divorce

Separation (1 yr.)

48-5-202;

Irreconcilable differences

48-5-201.

Defenses to a Divorce Filing

Condonation; connivance; plaintiff's own misconduct; offense occurred more than 3 yrs. prior to divorce action; collusion is not a bar (48-5-301); adultery: voluntary cohabitation after knowledge.

Other Grounds for Divorce

Adultery; cruelty or violence; drug/alcohol addiction; insanity (confined for 3 yrs. prior to complaint); conviction of crime subsequent to the marriage; neglect or abuse of child; abandonment or desertion for 6 mos.; irreconcilable differences if other party admits. (48-5-201); also lived apart without cohabitation and without interruption for one year.

No Fault Divorce Laws

West Virginia offers what is known as a “no fault” divorce, under which you don’t have to prove (or even allege) that your spouse engaged in any specific wrongdoing in order to get divorced. Instead, you only have to tell the court that you and your spouse have “irreconcilable differences,” and the court may grant your divorce and make orders regarding child custody and support.

There are also some legal alternatives to divorce, like an annulment or legal separation. These processes have their own separate requirements and may only apply to specific circumstances. And if you have any shared minor children with your spouse, you should be familiar with West Virginia child custody laws, as well as state child support guidelines and child support enforcement regulations. FindLaw’s section on Divorce can also provide you with additional articles and resources on this topic.

Free Review of your Divorce Case in West Virginia

A divorce can be both emotionally and legally difficult. You can consult with a West Virginia divorce attorney in your area if you would like legal assistance with a divorce, child custody, or child support matter. A skilled divorce attorney can represent you in court, handle any negotiations with your spouse or their attorney, and more. Get a free case evaluation today.

Next Step Search and Browse
Contact a qualified attorney.
(e.g., Chicago, IL or 60611)