Hurricane, WV Divorce Lawyers
Regardless of the circumstances of your divorce, you can expect this time to test your limits and show you how strong you truly are. Perhaps you want to work with your ex on a collaborative divorce agreement, or maybe your relationship is so fractured that you know it will be a battle. Either way, do not underestimate the importance of having skilled legal representation throughout this entire process. There’s a lot at stake and you deserve to feel confident in your choices.
When you’re ready to move forward with your divorce, the team at Hardy Pence is here to help you get started. Call us at 304-407-7852 to set up a consultation with our team of Hurricane, WV divorce attorneys.
Grounds for Divorce in Hurricane, WV
Most states no longer recognize fault-based divorce, choosing instead to allow couples to divorce without assigning blame in either direction. West Virginia is one of just a few states that allows the filing party to choose no-fault or fault-based divorce. No-fault divorce is usually the faster option, as the filing spouse does not have to prove their partner’s wrongdoing. However, a fault-based divorce can benefit the spouse who’s filing. It can give them the upper hand when it comes to alimony and the division of assets.
No-fault divorce lets couples divorce if they have irreconcilable differences or have lived apart and separate for at least one year. The spouses agree that their marriage cannot be saved and dissolve it.
Fault-based divorce in West Virginia requires the filing party to declare specific grounds for the divorce. The allowed grounds for divorce in West Virginia include cruel and inhumane treatment, intentional adultery, conviction of a felony, permanent and incurable insanity, alcoholism or drug addiction, abandonment, and abuse of a child.
If you’re not sure whether fault-based or no-fault divorce is the better option for you, it is time to talk to the team at Hardy Pence. We can look over your evidence and help you choose your path forward.
What to Expect from the Hurricane, WV Divorce Process
When you decide to move forward with a divorce, the process begins with one person—the petitioner—filing a divorce petition with the court. The initial paperwork is fairly simple and straightforward, outlining the grounds for the divorce, temporary child custody and spousal support requests, and other basic information. From there, both parties must disclose their income, assets, expenses, and other relevant information that the court will use to make its decisions. It’s crucial to be honest and thorough in this step, as hiding any relevant information could cause significant legal issues.
Once both sides have all the information they need, negotiations begin. This step depends a lot on how each couple is handling the divorce. If the divorce is extremely contentious, negotiations may occur with the spouses in separate rooms as they communicate through their attorneys. This keeps everything running smoothly and prevents negotiations from being delayed by fighting.
In a collaborative divorce, the couple and their attorneys may sit together to discuss the issues at hand and work towards mutually beneficial solutions. In many divorces, negotiations fall somewhere in the middle of these extremes. While the couple may not be ready to work together as a team, they aren’t so adversarial toward each other that they cannot communicate directly. The goal is to find solutions without having to ask the court to intervene.
If the divorcing spouses agree on the terms of their divorce, the court can sign off on the agreement and the judge can officially divorce the couple. If they cannot agree on some or all of the terms of their divorce, the judge will make the final decision after hearing evidence from both sides.
Topics to Address in Your Hurricane, WV Divorce
The more time you give yourself to think about the key topics in your divorce, the more prepared you will be once negotiations begin. Some of the most important topics you’ll need to address include:
- Property division: West Virginia is an equitable distribution state, as are most states. Rather than simply dividing the marital assets in half, the court prefers to split up sets in a way that is fair and considers a wide range of relevant factors. You and your ex-partner will want to determine who will get which assets, keeping in mind factors like your earning potential and your separate assets.
- Child custody: Few topics are quite as emotionally charged as child custody. In most cases, it’s in the child’s best interest to have significant time with both parents. There are exceptions, of course. If one parent travels for work or ends up living out of state, it may make sense for one parent to have primary custody. If one parent has a history of abuse, substance abuse, or alcoholism, the court may determine that it’s better for the other parent to have primary or sole physical custody. As you work through these issues, don’t forget to plan for holidays, summer vacations, and other times that fall outside the typical parenting schedule.
- Child support: In West Virginia, child support is based on the incomes of both parents. The state formula divides the total amount due between the parents, proportionate to each parent’s income. Factors that may affect the total include the number of children and how much time the children spend with each parent.
- Spousal support: Spousal support is awarded in some West Virginia divorces, particularly those with major earning discrepancies. Learn more about your various options, including rehabilitative alimony, permanent alimony, and spousal support in gross.
Why You Should Choose Hardy Pence
Our team of experienced Hurricane, WV divorce lawyers has helped clients through every type of divorce. Whether you and your spouses want to work together to wrap up your marriage as quickly as possible, you are in the middle of a bitter divorce that requires you to limit contact as much as possible, or you fall somewhere in between, it is crucial to have strong legal representation protecting your best interests.
You deserve a strong start to your post-divorce life, and that means getting a fair share of the marital assets and a custody agreement that protects your children’s needs. No matter what matters most to you in your divorce, you can trust us to advocate for you every step of the way.
Explore Your Divorce Options with the Team at Hardy Pence
Ready to start working toward a fresh start with a divorce? Let us help you navigate this trying time. Call our team at 304-407-7852 or send us a message online to set up a consultation with our team now.