Winfield, WV Divorce Lawyers
Whether you and your spouse have simply grown apart, betrayal has pushed you apart, or your goals in life have changed, you’ve decided that divorce is your next step. While this was likely not in your long-term plans, it can serve as a fresh new start for you. Navigating divorce can be emotionally draining and stressful, but with the right legal team by your side, you can feel confident that you are making the right decisions for you and your children.
Ready to discuss your divorce and what you hope to accomplish with it? The team at Hardy Pence is here to help. Call us at 304-345-7250 to set up a consultation now.
Different Divorce Approaches
One decision you’ll have to make fairly early in the process is how you want to approach your divorce. When most people think about divorce, they think of a traditional or adversarial approach. This approach is fairly common—it puts the spouses on opposing sides, fighting for what they want out of their divorce. It may involve dredging up painful memories or engaging in lengthy legal battles. This is often what an individual chooses if their spouse has betrayed them or has already made it clear that they will not make the divorce easy on them.
Others choose a more collaborative approach. This is popular amongst divorcing couples with young children, as they may want to create and protect a co-parenting relationship that best meets their children’s needs. The spouses, along with their individual attorneys, work on finding mutually beneficial solutions in their divorce.
Mediation is similar to collaborative divorce in that the parties work together to come up with a divorce agreement that suits both parties. The parties work with a neutral third party—the mediator—to hash out their issues and figure out where they are willing to compromise.
There are no right or wrong choices here. It all depends on what your marriage was like, how you want to approach your divorce, and what you want your relationship with your spouse to look like after the divorce is done.
Divorce Laws in West Virginia
Each state has its own unique laws regarding divorce. Whether you were married in West Virginia or moved to West Virginia after getting married, it’s important to know some of the key laws that guide divorce in Winfield, WV:
- Residency requirements: If you were married in West Virginia, you meet the residency requirements. If you married outside the state, at least one spouse must have lived in West Virginia for one year prior to the divorce filing.
- Grounds for divorce: West Virginia recognizes both fault and no-fault divorces. Both of these options have advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to talk about them with your attorney. No-fault divorce is generally faster and less mentally stressful, but you do give up any advantage you may have if your spouse was unfaithful or mistreated you. Fault-based divorce may benefit you if your spouse mistreated you, but it takes longer because you have to prove your claims.
- Equitable distribution: West Virginia is an equitable distribution state. Assets are not necessarily distributed equally—they are distributed in a way that is fair to both spouses.
- Child custody: In West Virginia, the court begins with the assumption that the child’s needs are best met with 50/50 custody. From there, parents can work together to change the schedule or convince the court that the schedule should be different.
- Child support: Child support calculations in West Virginia take both parents’ income into account, as well as a range of other factors and expenses.
Issues Affecting Your Children
Child custody and support are two of the most important issues in many Winfield, WV divorces. West Virginia recently moved to a standard of 50/50 shared custody, as is the standard in many other states. It’s important to note, though, that many divorcing couples end up with a completely different schedule. If you and your ex can negotiate a schedule that meets both of your needs, the court is likely to sign off on it. If you are unable to agree, you may need to make your case before the court if you want a different schedule.
Child support follows a fairly basic formula. Again, though, this isn’t set in stone. If your child has extraordinary medical needs, attends private school, has expensive extracurricular activities, or has other needs outside what other children may have, the court may take that into consideration when calculating support.
Handling Your Property and Assets
The division of assets can be over in a day or can drag on for months, depending on how flexible the divorcing couple is and how much they have to divide. Before you head into negotiations, take some time to talk to your attorney about your goals.
Are there assets you are determined to keep, even if it means giving up others? Are there assets that matter a lot to your spouse but not at all to you? Which assets do you need in order to be financially stable once the divorce is finalized? Once you know where you have room to negotiate and compromise, this process will likely become a lot smoother.
Why You Should Choose Hardy Pence
Once you begin working with the Winfield, WV divorce attorneys at Hardy Pence, you can take a deep breath and know that your future is in good hands. We have experience with a wide range of divorce cases, giving us the knowledge and skills needed to address your specific needs, challenges, and goals.
Whether you want to take a traditional approach and fight for everything you can or try a more cooperative approach, we’re here to listen and come up with a plan that suits you. We’ll inform you of your options every step of the way and help you understand potential outcomes. Whatever challenges your divorce brings, you do not have to face them alone.
Reach Out Today to Discuss Your Divorce Options
Get the support, guidance, and advocacy you need as you work through your divorce. Choose the team at Hardy Pence and prepare for the next chapter in your life. To schedule your free consultation, contact us online or call us at 304-345-7250.