You have finally decided to end your marriage, and you look forward to moving on with your life as a single person. The question is, how exactly do you get divorced?
Getting a divorce in West Virginia starts with filing a document known as the divorce petition in court. Here is an in-depth look at what this process involves.
Filing your divorce petition
When you file your divorce petition in court, this signifies that you are initiating the process of dissolving your marriage. After the filing, your petition is served on your spouse, which essentially means it is delivered to him or her. This process ensures that your spouse also knows that your divorce process is beginning.
What does the divorce petition include?
Your divorce petition will likely feature the following pieces of information:
- Your names and addresses
- Where you got married
- The date on which you married
- An acknowledgement that you and/or your spouse have resided in West Virginia for a year (if you were married outside of the state)
- The grounds for your divorce
- The names of your children
In your divorce petition, you can also explain how you would like to handle divorce matters such as child custody and visitation as well as property division.
Addressing temporary orders in your divorce petition
Along with the abovementioned information, your petition may request that the family law court establishes temporary orders concerning certain financial and family issues during the divorce process. These issues may include the following:
- Who will get custody of the children
- Who will pay child support
- Who will pay spousal support
- Who gets to stay in the family home
- How you will handle child visitation for the parent who does not get custody of the children
- How you and your spouse will handle your bills
If the court approves these orders, you can expect them to remain in effect up to the finalizing of your divorce.
Your rights during the divorce process
As you proceed with your divorce in West Virginia, it is within your rights to pursue the best outcome possible for you when it comes to property division, alimony and child custody, for example. If you and the other party can find common ground in these areas, you may be able to reach a settlement outside of court through informal negotiations. Otherwise, you will have to go to trial to have a judge determine the outcomes of these matters.