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Berkeley County Divorce Lawyer
Martinsburg Firm Serving Clients Seeking Divorce in West Virginia Since 1999
Even the most straightforward uncontested divorces can be a struggle. Dealing with all the related details, such as the division of property and child custody, is something that should not be taken lightly. Because the outcome of your case can permanently change the way you live your life, you should get legal counsel before you take any action.
We are here to support you through all the following divorce matters and more:
- Contested divorce
- Uncontested divorce
- High net worth division
- Child custody
- Spousal support
- Child Support
- Legal separation
- Division of property
- Division of debts
At Sutton & Janelle, PLLC, our Berkeley County divorce attorneys can guide you through your case until you reach a smooth resolution. We can minimize the stress and contention that is so often involved when couples go through a divorce. We can be your fierce advocates as you go through a contested divorce, ensuring that all your best interests are fully represented at every moment. In addition, we can also assist you with alternative dispute resolution methods such as mediation.Contacvt
Contact us online or call (304) 867-0049 now to speak to a West Virginia divorce attorney from Sutton & Janelle, PLLC.
What Are Grounds for Divorce in WV?
West Virginia recognizes both fault and no-fault divorces. A no-fault divorce means that you are not blaming the end of your marriage on your spouses’ actions. Instead, you’re simply claiming that irreconcilable differences led to the end of your marriage. If your spouse disagrees about your marriage being broken, then you’ll need to demonstrate to the court that you and your spouse have been living separate and apart for at least one year.
A fault divorce means that you’re blaming the end of your marriage on something your spouse did. The following are grounds for a fault divorce in West Virginia:
- Child abuse or neglect
- Conviction of a felony
- Cruel treatment
How Do I File for Divorce in West Virginia?
The exact divorce process might look different in each case, but there are a few steps that are always required for divorce to work in West Virginia:
- The couple must meet the residency requirements in West Virginia. If the couple was married outside of West Virginia, then they must wait one year before filing for divorce in the state. If they were married in West Virginia, then the residency requirement is waived.
- The couple must establish the grounds for their divorce – either fault-based or no-fault grounds.
- One of the spouses must file for divorce and have the papers sent to the other spouse.
- The other spouse will have the option to contest the divorce if there is any disagreement. If there is no disagreement, then the divorce can proceed as uncontested.
- The couple may have to spend time resolving the contested matters (such as property division and child custody) in the courts or possibly in an out-of-court settlement.
To file for divorce in West Virginia, you will need to follow these basic steps:
- Prepare forms – The forms will be different depending on if you have children or not.
- File forms – The forms must be submitted to the county clerk’s office.
- Serve forms – The filing spouse must have the divorce documents delivered to the non-filing spouse.
- Financial disclosures – Both spouses will need to disclose their assets and debts.
Is West Virginia an Equitable Distribution (50/50) Divorce State?
Under the law of equitable distribution, there is a presumption that marital property should be divided equally. There are certain exceptions to this rule, which may be unique to a particular case. We are glad to discuss these matters in detail with our clients, to help them fashion a framework for property and debt distribution.
Factors that may influence on where the assets go include:
- The length of the marriage
- The contributions of each spouse for the duration of the marriage
- The age, health, and overall well-being of each spouse
At Sutton & Janelle, PLLC, we pride ourselves on devoting personalized attention to each of our clients. There are no "cookie-cutter" solutions at our Martinsburg firm-we take the time to thoroughly get to know our clients and create a plan of action that is tailor to their specific needs. For instance, have you wondered about the difference between legal separation and divorce, and whether you can file for separation without divorce? The truth is that the differences are slight, and the spouses are still considered legally married. Legal separation can expedite the divorce process in many cases. For more information on legal separation and other divorce matters, trust Sutton & Janelle, PLLC to help you.
How Much Does Divorce Cost in West Virginia?
It is impossible to say exactly how much your divorce will cost because the length of each divorce varies as do the legal fees. However, the court’s divorce filing fee in West Virginia is $135.
Finding the funds to retain a good attorney is often a point of anxiety for many litigants. A common fear is that the other party will stonewall the other party through litigious behavior and consequently running their fees up. The court will need to consider the need and ability of both parties when it comes to paying attorney fees and will also take into account child and spousal support.
Paying the fees in a divorce is often a point of contention in a case. If your spouse has requested that you pay his or her attorney fees, our firm can assess the situation and determine what is fair. Our firm’s goal is to protect your rights and help ensure that you are set up for success in your divorce case.
How Can I Find a Good Divorce Lawyer?
When choosing a lawyer for your divorce case, you will likely go through a process of interviewing a few and picking your favorite. How do you know, however, which will be the best choice to protect your rights? There is a lot to think about, but it is important to not simply choose the attorney that just tells you what you want to hear or offers the cheapest prices.
You should choose a firm that is devoted to hearing your case and gives you the time and attention you deserve. Another indication of a good West Virginia divorce lawyer is that he or she gives you straightforward and honest answers. This attorney should be able to have compassion on your situation, but also gives you a clear direction on how to effectively navigate your situation.
Contact us today to schedule a comprehensive consultation at Sutton & Janelle, PLLC.
“I felt very confident and relieved and retained them immediately with no regrets.”- Shannon S.
“I highly recommend Chris and his staff when you are looking for someone to assist with those difficult Legal times.”- Mike C.
“Mark is the best attorney.”- Barbara S.
“You having nothing to lose and SOOO much to gain by going with Sutton & Janelle”- Lexis K.
“I would highly recommend him to everyone!”- Kathy S.