Every state has its own rules regarding divorce. For example, in many states, there is a waiting period between when you file for divorce and when your divorce is granted. This waiting period varies from state to state. In some states, it’s 30 days and in other states, it’s 60 days. In Maryland and Nevada, it’s 365 days, and here in West Virginia, it’s zero days.
In addition to having a waiting period before granting a divorce, some states require spouses to live separately for a period before they can file for divorce.
Do You Have to Be Separated Before Filing for Divorce in West Virginia?
West Virginia is a no-fault divorce state. However, you can also file for fault-based divorce here. No-fault divorce is a divorce where neither spouse must be at fault for the divorce. The reason given for no-fault divorces is often irreconcilable differences. Fault-based divorces are divorces where fault is assigned to the spouses. The reasons for these types of divorces are usually things like domestic abuse, adultery, or drug abuse.
In West Virginia, you don’t have to live separately from your spouse before you file for divorce. However, if you file for a fault-based divorce, continuing to live with your spouse before you file for divorce may impact your case.
This is because the judge may consider why you have continued to live with your spouse even though they cheated on you, have a drug problem, or have abused you. Even if you don’t condone your spouse’s behavior, it will seem as though you do.
It is much less of a problem to continue to live with your spouse before filing for a no-fault divorce. This is because both parties file papers saying that they want to get divorced, so the court has no reason to question your living situation prior to filing for divorce.
For more information about getting divorced in West Virginia, or to speak with our experienced divorce lawyers in Berkeley County, call Sutton & Janelle, PLLC at (304) 867-0049 or reach out to us online today to schedule a free & confidential consultation.