West Virginia Divorce Laws 2

Divorce Law Basics in the State of West Virginia

Also See: West Virginia Marriage Laws

Statute: West Virginia State Divorce Code (Chapter 48, Article 5): legis.state.wv.us

No-Fault Grounds:

  • Living separately without cohabitation for at least one year
  • Irreconcilable differences

At-Fault Grounds:

  • Reasonable apprehension of bodily harm
  • Adultery
  • False accusation of adultery or homosexuality
  • Condust or treatment which destroys the mental or physical well-being, happiness and welfare of the other
  • Felony conviction
  • Permanent and incurable insanity
  • Habitual drunkenness or drug use
  • Willful neglect or abuse

Residency: Either party must be a resident of the state for at least 1 year prior to filing unless the marriage took place in West Virginia in which case the residency requirement would be waived.

Legal Separation Recognized? Yes. Alimony, property distribution and child support can be awarded.

Counseling Requirements: The court may order educational classes when a minor child is involved.

Property Distribution: West Virginia relies on “equitable distribution” so the court will distribute the marital property “in an equitable manner if the parties can’t agree on their own. Separate property (property acquired prior to the marriage, as a gift or through inheritance) is not included in property distribution. Fault is not considered.

Alimony: Alimony may be awarded to either party at the discretion of the court. Fault is considered.


  • Arosa Cook

    My step-father recently left my mother who is 70 years old and on Social Security disability. They live in Dille, WV and have been married for over 20 years. Is she entitled to Alimony?

  • Thelma

    My husband and I are divorcing after being married for 39 years. Six years after we married he became disabled by a back injury. He receives workmens comp and SSDI. Is that separate or community property in WV? Are items bought during the years he has received disability be considered his property? We have an adult dosabled daughter. I received what is considered reimbursement for residential and community training thru the Title IXX medicaid waiver. Income is not guaranteed and not paid when our daughter or I am not well enough to do the training goals. Can that income be counted against me receiving any alimony from him?
    Thanks in advance for any help.
    I would like to know where I can find the state codes or written rules about these subjects.