Divorce Law in West Virginia
How to Find a West Virginia Divorce Attorney
"Just another of our many disagreements. He wants a no-fault divorce, whereas I would prefer to have the bastard crucified."
We choose this quote to make you grin and to emphasize both the need for humor and cooperation when going through divorce. Both humor and cooperation will get you through what is likely one of the most difficult times in your life. The results will be a positive sense of self, more of what you want, and lower legal fees.
If you are considering divorce and are researching West Virginia divorce lawyers, this article is for you. In this article (which is based upon West Virginia divorce law), we'll discuss:
- West Virginia specific divorce law requirements;
- What you need to know about divorce, in general;
- Whether it's in your best interest to hire a West Virginia divorce attorney;
- How to find and select a qualified lawyer; and
- How to prepare to work with your lawyer.
West Virginia Divorce Law Specifics
- If you were married in West Virginia, residency is not required. If not, either you or your spouse must have lived in West Virginia for at least 1 year, immediately prior to the divorce filing.
- West Virginia law requires that divorce filings state the grounds for divorce, either "no-fault" or "fault".
- West Virginia use terms "petitioner" and "respondent" to refer to the spouse who filed for divorce and the other spouse, respectively.
- Divorce filings are made in the county Circuit Court.
- Property distribution will be equitable, which means, "fair", not necessarily equal.
- Spousal support (i.e. alimony) may be awarded in some cases and child support in based upon the Income Shares Model.
What You Need to Know About Divorce
If you want to get through your divorce with some semblance of dignity, sanity, and cash, here's how to do it.
- Now is the time to focus on all the things in your life that make you happy and feel good about yourself such as funny movies, hobbies, exercise, friends, family, pets, and volunteer work.
- Get good legal advice and hire a divorce lawyer who will work cooperatively and encourage you and your spouse to work out a marital settlement agreement.
- Keep in mind that if you cooperate, compromise, and follow your attorney's advice, you will pay lower legal fees and get more of what you want in the divorce.
- Going to court is a complete loss of control, further antagonizes all parties involved, causes increased stress, and costs a lot of money.
- Your divorce lawyer and your children are not your therapists. Work with a therapist who specializes in counseling people going through divorce.
Is it in Your Best Interests to Work with a West Virginia Divorce Lawyer?
You have the legal right to represent yourself throughout a West Virginia divorce; however, it's not likely the best choice for you or anyone else.
- Even West Virginia attorneys, who go through divorce, hire divorce lawyers.
- Think about what just one mistake may cost you.
How to Find and Select a West Virginia Divorce Attorney
The easiest way to find an attorney is to do an online search for "How to Find a West Virginia Divorce Attorney" or ask friends and family for referrals.
Here are the important qualifications to help you narrow down the list and make your selection. Look for an attorney who:
- Focuses his or her practice on divorce and family law.
- Is experienced in working collaboratively. An attorney who offers to "rip your spouse to shreds", or the like, may initially sound appealing, but it is sure to cost you big time in the end.
- Will answer all of your questions and let you know how best to communicate with him or her.
- Will help you keep your legal fees and stress level to a minimum.
How to Prepare to Work with Your Divorce Attorney
You can best prepare to work with your divorce lawyer by getting in the right mindset and gathering financial documents.
- First, consider reconciliation. Is your marriage irretrievably broken for the long run? What if your anger dissipates in a few weeks or a few months?
- Second, meet with a therapist to deal with the emotional aspects of divorce.
- Third, know that cooperation, communication, collaboration, and compromise are the paths to the ultimate goals of keeping your sanity, getting a fresh start, protecting your children, and not wasting all of your money on legal fees and anger.
- Fourth, gather financial documents showing all income, expenses, debts, and assets.
- Fifth, make a wish list of everything you would like in the divorce. Indicate which items "must" stay and which aren't as important.
- Sixth, make a list of questions to address with your lawyer during your next conversation.
A positive attitude will not solve all the problems in the world, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.
- Author Unknown (yet, brilliant)