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.


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