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COVID-19 NOTIFICATION: To protect your safety in response to the threat of COVID-19, our staff is tele-commuting, but is still available to serve you during our normal office hours. We are offering our clients and potential clients the option to connect with us through telephone, email and video-conferencing. Please call or email us to discuss your options.

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Easy Online Divorce Frequently Asked Questions

Why are our services Only In WV?

Because West Virginia is our home! We live and practice law within these mountains and we know the family court system very well.  Family law is our passion, and we are happy to offer this much needed service to the people of West Virginia. 

We are not a faceless corporation selling blank forms across the country. We are real West Virginia attorneys offering family law services to those who need it, regardless of location within the state.  We know what the courts expect because we have been practicing law in those very same courts for nearly 60 years combined courtroom experience and success. 

How Much Does Online Divorce Cost?

We have three tailored packages that will provide almost everyone the level of assistance he or she needs to file for divorce.  These packages can be found here, and the best one for you depends upon whether you and your spouse have reached a complete agreement on all matters, have children, are seeking alimony, have many assets to divide, or simply need to quickly get a divorce petition ready without an agreement on children, alimony, or property.  Each package includes documentation review by a West Virginia attorney, who can quickly spot issues or ask follow-up questions, if needed.  The platinum package includes a virtual consultation with an attorney after you have reviewed your final documents to ask final questions.

How Is Easy Divorce WV Different from other online divorce Websites?

Many of the advertised legal websites simply send you boxes on a form to complete, without any attorney consultation or review, much less consultation or review by an attorney who actually practices law in our state.  When you review other options, you will usually see that specific information is not available, other than perhaps a list of private attorneys you can contact if you have questions about the documents and want to also pay them to assist you.  That’s not EASY Divorce WV.

If we still live together, can I file for divorce?

The answer is yes! 

Do we need to split everything we own?

Sometimes you and your spouse will be able to agree how to divide your property and debts.  You may want to keep the house and your spouse will want to keep a retirement.  If you can’t agree –don’t worry, a court will divide all marital property and debt equitably based on your financial statement information.   That’s why the statement must be accurate.

How is child support determined?   

Child support is determined based on income and the number of overnights the child(ren) spend with each spouse.   Support increases when both parents have the children more than 127 overnights per year and both parties’ gross income (not after tax) is used.   To determine gross income your latest paystub and tax return will be needed.   Other information needed to calculate child support is:  

  • amount of health insurance premium paid for the child(ren) only
  • childcare or daycare costs paid weekly, daily or monthly for the child(ren)
  • special medical costs for your child such as braces
  • any agreed private school tuition costs for your child
  • your spouse’s income as best as you can determine.

 

Do I still pay child support if I get the children 50/50?   

Yes, you may.   As we noted above child support is based on gross income and who pays certain expenses such as health insurance and daycare costs.

What if we totally disagree about child custody?   

Parents often disagree about custody and parenting schedule. In the event you and your spouse can’t agree to a schedule or custody the judge will set a schedule that is in the best interests of your child(ren) based on their age and who historically performed the caretaking functions for the child(ren). Because the number of overnights is a factor how much the child support is parents will often insist on equal parenting time.    Here are some schedules that we commonly see.

  • 2/2/3 definite days – one parent has Monday/Tuesday every week and the other parent has Wednesday/Thursday every week; and the weekends are alternated.
  • 2/2/3 floating – with this schedule a parent is away from his/her child no more than 3 days; it often works best for small children. For example, with this schedule Mother would have Monday/Tuesday with the child and Father Wednesday Thursday, then Mother the weekend and then the next week Father would have Monday/Tuesday and Mother Wednesday/Thursday and Father would have the weekends.
  • Week on and week off – the child(ren) would spend the entire week with one parent and then the opposite parent would have the next week. The exchanges usually occur Friday after school or Sunday evening before the week starts depending on the parents’ preference.
  • Some children need more structure and less movement, so an equal shared parenting schedule is not in their best interest and does not work as well:
  • One overnight during the school week and alternating weekends for one parent; the rest of the time with the other parent.
  • Reverse schedule in the summer where one parent has the child(ren) 3 weekends per month and the other parent has the majority of school time. In the summer the opposite parent has 3 weekends per month and the other parent has the weekday time.
  • If the parties live far apart the parent who has moved out of the state has the bulk of the summer, holidays and one long weekend per month if the child is out of school on Friday and/or Monday.

What if I haven’t worked and do not have any income?    

If you have a preschool age child, or a child with special needs, are enrolled in an educational program, or for valid medical reasons have no income the court will consider your income to be zero.  However, none of those apply above and based on your work history, qualifications you could work then the court will attribute to you what the reasonable salary for such job in the local market would be.

How will I find the Circuit Clerk’s Office where I file my divorce papers

We will let you know the appropriate Circuit Clerk’s office address when we email back your divorce documents.

What extra costs will I have besides the cost for the package I choose? 

Everyone must pay the Circuit Clerk’s office a filing fee to start the divorce process.  That fee is paid when you file the divorce petition, and it is currently $135.  It can usually be paid by cashiers check, money order or cash. If you want the clerk to mail a certified copy of your divorce petition to your spouse that is an additional $20 fee.  The 20 day time period  your spouse has to answer does not start rolling until your spouse receives his/her copy of the divorce petition.

Will the judge make one of us move out of our house if we can’t agree who will keep it?  

At the time of the final hearing the judge can sell your house if neither of you want to keep it, or the judge can decide who will keep the house and attribute it’s net equity to one spouse.  For example, if your house is valued at $100,000 and you owe ($65,000) on it, then the net equity of $35,000 will be counted toward the spouse who keeps the house. 

If I make more money than my spouse, does she/he automatically get alimony? 

No.  Alimony is based on 20 factors which include the length of the marriage, age of the parties, income earning abilities of the parties, health and mental condition, ability to pay and financial need after considering your income and child support amount paid or received.

For example, you may need $750 more per month but your spouse has only an extra $250 per month after paying his/her necessary expenses, so the court would consider that.  The shorter the marriage, the less likely alimony.   Permanent alimony is paid until either spouse dies, or the payee spouse remarries or engages in a defacto marriage.  Alimony was tax deductible and require income taxes paid on it before January 1, 2019.  That changed and is no longer the case. 

About how long does it take to be divorced online?  

Once you file your divorce petition and your spouse gets a copy of the petition by certified mail or another person can hand him/her a copy.  Then he has 20 days to answer and file his financial statement.   Once that is filed the judge will set a hearing.  If you both agree on everything then at the hearing you can give the judge your signed (and notarized) divorce settlement agreement and draft Final Order if you have one.  The judge will review the agreement to make sure both of you agree to the stated terms, and are entering into the agreement freely, voluntarily and knowingly. In other words, you can’t be forced or coerced into entering into an agreement against your free will. If the judge finds it’s a voluntary agreement, he/she can sign and enter the Final Order.   Once that Final Order is entered you will be divorced. 

What is the divorce process in WV?

  1. You must file a divorce petition, financial statement, vital statistics worksheet and if you have children, a proposed parenting plan and parenting worksheet.
  2. You take it to your county’s circuit clerk’s office, along with a filing fee in cash, money order or cashier’s check.
  3. The clerk’s office will send it (it’s called serve) to your spouse, if needed. Once received, your spouse has 20 days to file an answer and financial statement and the same documents you filed to start the divorce.
  4. If you and your spouse agree to certain terms or items, that’s great!
  5. If you do not, you will have a temporary hearing and ask the judge to decide based on the evidence and testimony you both present as to who will stay in the house temporarily, who will pay what bills, a temporary schedule for parenting of the child(ren) and child support.
  6. Depending on the judge’s court schedule you will eventually return for a final hearing, the court will decide all tissues you brought up, property division, alimony, child support, parenting time, etc. and issue a final order. You are not divorced until the date that the final order is entered. 

 

How long do I have to live in West Virginia before I file?

  1. If marriage not in WV, then
    • One of parties has lived in WV for a year before filing for divorce
  2. If married in WV – then if one party is a resident of state without regard to length of time of residency.
    • Resident votes here, drivers license, etc. 

 

Which WV county do I file in? 

 Venue where to file:

  1. If the other spouse is a resident of WV then:
  • County where parties last cohabited, or
  • County where “other non-filing spouse”  resides

 

  1. If the other spouse is not a resident of WV the filing party can file:
  • Where parties last cohabited, or 
  • County where filing party lives

 

We know there is a lot of uncertainty in the divorce process. We have created a quick video that walks you through that process and answers many questions that our clients commonly ask (like the ones above).  Watch it here.