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Benefits of 
an online divorce

Benefits of an online divorce

Why Choose Divorce.com?

Divorce.com simplifies the preparation process and reduces expenses for couples with an uncontested divorce. It means they don’t need to hire an attorney to draft their paperwork and file it with the court.

Divorce.com provides spouses with inexpensive and quick customized court forms that are required to ask the judge to terminate the marriage. The website also prepares the filing instructions and sends them along with the packet of documents in just two business days.

Getting the paperwork consists of the following simple steps:

  • Answer the questions from the online questionnaire.
  • Submit the answers for processing.
  • Receive, download, and print the papers prepared in a PDF format.
  • Finally, follow the filing instructions to file the divorce case with the local court.

Divorce.com saves time and money and makes filing for divorce smoother.

West Virginia divorce forms

West Virginia Divorce Forms

Finding the correct court forms can be challenging. Some are located at the state’s self-help centers online, and others are obtainable directly from the local courthouse. The documents may also differ depending on the circumstances of each divorce case.

The basic West Virginia divorce forms include the following:

  • Petition for Divorce (Form SCA-FC-101)
  • Petitioner’s Civil Case Information Statement (Form SCA-FC-103)
  • Vital Statistics Form (SCA-FC-104)
  • Acceptance of Service (Form SCA-FC-105)
  • Financial Statement (Form SCA-FC-106)
  • Notice of Hearing (Form SCA-FC-107)
  • Affidavit of Unknown or Out of State Residency (Form SCA-FC-110)
  • Order of Publication (Form CA-FC-111)
  • Certificate of Service (Form SCA-FC-314)
  • Worksheet for Individual Proposed Parenting Plan (Form SCA-FC-128)
  • Family Court Parenting Plan (Form SCA-FC-121)
  • Motion to Adopt Individual Proposed Parenting Plan (Form SCA-FC-129)
  • Application for Child Support Enforcement and Income Withholding Services (SCA-DV-FC-1202 and SCA-FC-113)
  • Financial Affidavit and Application: Eligibility for Waiver of Fees (Form SCA-C&M201)

The complete packet of forms does not necessarily include all the papers above. For example, couples without minor children don’t need a Parenting Plan or child support documents.

Divorce forms preparation

Divorce forms preparation

How to Fill Out Divorce Forms in West Virginia

Filling out the court forms is the second important step after obtaining them. Again, it may seem easy at first glance, but it requires attention to detail and concentration. So, here are a few tips for completing the forms without mistakes:

  • Study the papers (their names and what they are used for). Make sure all of them apply to your case.
  • Look up the unknown terminology in the dictionary or West Virginia Code.
  • Find out the important information required in the papers, such as the marriage date and place, full names and addresses of the parties, the list of property and debts, etc.
  • If a divorce is uncontested, discuss the terms with your wife or husband before completing the documents.
  • Fill out the blank spaces in the forms using the correct information. You may also ask the court to withhold some of it for safety reasons.
  • Check if the provided answers are accurate.
  • Sign and notarize the papers. Some forms, such as the Petition, must be verified by the notary.

Divorce.com can save you time and nerves if you feel overwhelmed by the paperwork and collect the forms quickly and efficiently. Our system will also complete all the court-required documentation, according to your circumstances.

And it will only take two business days. With Divorce.com, your DIY divorce will be easy and smooth.

Filing for
Divorce in
West Virginia

Steps to Consider

Residency Requirements

The West Virginia courts can only grant a divorce to couples meeting the state’s residency requirements. It will ensure that the courts have jurisdiction to split the property, determine child custody, etc.

So, to get a divorce, a petitioner or a respondent must have lived in West Virginia for one year, preceding the action. However, if they got married in West Virginia and one of the spouses is a bona fide resident, it’s enough to start the dissolution of the marriage without delay.

Grounds for Divorce

West Virginia allows the spouses to end their marriage upon providing the reason, also called grounds. The couples have a no-fault option - “irreconcilable differences” which means that the marriage is beyond repair.

There are also fault-based grounds for divorce in West Virginia:

  • Adultery
  • Voluntary separation for one year
  • Cruel treatment (both physical harm and mental abuse)
  • Conviction of a felony
  • Incurable insanity
  • Habitual drunkenness or drug use
  • Desertion for six months
  • Abuse or neglect of a child
Initial Filing

The filing process consists of several essential steps. First, the petitioner fills out the Petition for Divorce, Civil Case Information Statement, Financial Statement, and other required forms.

The next step is to file these papers with the Circuit Clerk’s Office. It should be situated in the county where the respondent lives. If they don’t live in West Virginia, the paperwork should be filed in the county where a petitioner lives or the couple last lived together.

Filing Fees

Starting a divorce case in West Virginia costs $135 which is the standard filing fee for submitting a Petition for Divorce. Other expenses include hiring a sheriff to serve the respondent with divorce papers ($25).

If the petitioner cannot afford these court fees, they may request the fee waiver by filling out and submitting Financial Affidavit (Form SCA-C&M201). The Deputy Clerk will review the application and decide if the petitioner is eligible for a fee waiver.

Serving the Respondent

The petitioner is responsible for notifying the respondent (non-filing party) about the start of the divorce proceedings. The papers they need to send are the Summons issued by the court clerk, a copy of the Petition, and copies of all the original documents filed with the court.

There are several options to serve the respondent properly:

  • personal service by the sheriff
  • service by a private server
  • certified mail

The respondent must then sign the acknowledgment of service form.

Waiting Period

Several states require that spouses wait a specific number of days after filing or serving the papers before getting divorced. West Virginia does not have such requirements, and couples can get a divorce decree as soon as they attend the final hearing.

However, the case cannot proceed forward until the respondent is served with the papers. After that, they have 20 days to file the response papers. This deadline applies to all services - mail, personal service, or publication.

Finalizing a Divorce Case

The parties will have to attend a court hearing to get divorced. The hearing is set by Scheduling Orders. After the Family Court sends this order to a petitioner, he or she must notify the other party.

The judge will review the papers at the hearing and ask the spouses questions. If there are witnesses in the case, the self-represented parties must question them. After the final hearing, the judge will sign the divorce decree, if everything is in order.

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Uncontested divorce 
in West Virginia

Uncontested Divorce in West Virginia

Since the West Virginia law allows a no-fault divorce, obtaining an uncontested divorce is simpler than in the past. An uncontested or amicable divorce is when both parties agree on critical terms.

These terms include:

  • property division (money in bank accounts, real estate, vehicles, debts, etc.)
  • child custody and visitation
  • alimony
  • insurance, etc.

After the spouses resolve these issues (on their own or with a divorce mediator’s help), they can conclude a mutual settlement agreement and file it with other initial papers with the local family court.

The packet of forms differs depending on the circumstances and isn’t always easy to collect. Luckily, there is a simple and fast way to obtain the necessary legal paperwork - Divorce.com.

This online service will generate and complete the court-required forms in two business days. In addition, each divorcee will receive a written guide with step-by-step filing instructions. So, starting a divorce with Divoce.com will be smooth and effortless.

Child custody

Getting a Divorce with Children in West Virginia

Child custody

West Virginia courts’ primary concern is ensuring the children’s best interests in any divorce case. For this reason, the judges award joint custody to both parents so that the children can have frequent contact with each of them.

The parties are allowed to conclude a parenting plan together or separately. The judge will review this document and decide which provisions to approve and add to the final judgment.

Family law provides the following types of custody for the parents or a judge to choose from:

  • Joint legal custody (both parents can decide how to raise the children);
  • Joint physical custody (the children have frequent contact with both parents and may live with each of them in turns, depending on the court orders);
  • Sole legal custody (only a primary custodial parent chooses what’s best for the children);
  • Sole physical custody (the children live with a custodial parent and meet with the other parent, according to the court-approved visitation schedule).

West Virginia courts are also concerned about the fairness of their orders regarding both parents. For example, the gender of the parents does not impact the judgment. Thus, both men and women have equal rights to become primary custodians.

Child Support

Child Support

West Virginia courts must determine and order child support for minor children in every divorce action. The amount of child support should include medical coverage, food, transportation, clothing, etc.

West Virginia uses the Income Shares Model just like many other states which means that the amount of support is calculated using the combined adjusted gross income and the number of children. Then, this financial obligation is divided between the parents proportionally to their income.

Child support payments end when the child reaches 18. However, they may continue if the child attends secondary school full-time, is unmarried, and lives with a parent. Also, child support continues for children with disabilities, even after they come of age.

Divorce Without a Lawyer in West Virginia

Divorce Without
a Lawyer
in West Virginia

The cost of divorce when a lawyer is involved is much higher than when spouses don’t pay for legal representation. For instance, West Virginia attorneys typically charge $100-$400 per hour, but the fees may reach $500 or higher if the lawyer works for a prestigious law firm.

For this reason, many couples prefer a DIY divorce, where they file and finalize the divorce without an attorney. Ideally, they don’t have substantial property and children or don’t have disputes on how to divide everything. If they have a few conflicts, they can use mediation, which will be less expensive than hiring a divorce lawyer.

The primary responsibility of self-represented litigants is to collect the state-specific divorce forms, fill them out, and file this packet with the court. Since it may be overwhelming and complicated, many spouses use online divorce services that help obtain all the necessary paperwork.

Divorce.com is one such affordable and convenient service. This platform will collect and fill out the court paperwork, which will be ready in two business days. Plus, it’s affordable and transparent. With Divorce.com, your divorce preparations will be smooth and effortless.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long will it take to get divorced in West Virginia?

The length of the divorce depends on the number of unresolved conflicts. Couples who agree on all issues can divorce in two to three months. Conversely, divorces with many unresolved disputes take six to twelve months.

Can I get a free divorce in West Virginia?

If a petitioner has financial hardships, they can ask the family court to waive the filing fees. To request this fee waiver, the filing spouse must complete and file the Financial Affidavit and Application: Eligibility for Waiver of Fees (Form SCA-C&M201).

How do I file for divorce in West Virginia?

Filing for divorce consists of collecting and submitting the Petition for Divorce, Civil Case Information Statement, Financial Statement, and a few other forms to the proper court. Parties must also pay the filing fee or request a fee waiver.

How much does a divorce cost in West Virginia?

The cost of an average contested divorce in West Virginia is $15,000-$20,000, depending on the complexity. Uncontested divorces are more affordable. So, if your divorce is amicable, you can decrease the expenses by using Divorce.com.