West Virginia Divorce Laws

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Divorce laws are the essentials of family law that handles establishment and disposition of the families in any state. The nature of divorce laws in any state depends on the specific requirements of that state. West Virginia divorce laws highlights the legalities related to divorce including residency requirements for a petitioner. For the spouses who have got married outside this state, the residency requirement is of one year prior to the filing of a divorce case. Some other aspects of divorce laws in West Virginia are as listed below.

West Virginia Divorce Laws pertaining Child Support

The amount of child support is calculated considering the adjusted gross income of the parents. The total child support obligation is distributed amongst the parents in a ratio of their respective incomes. However, if the conditions occurred as mentioned below, then the Court may decide to deviate from the guidelines -

  • The obligor is indebted to a duty of support of the children from a previous marriage or other relations.
  • The child stays with a third party.
  • The visitation expenditures are more because of the distance between the residences of both partners.
  • There are more than 6 children in the family.
  • Educational expenditures for the parent or the child (i.e. where tuition and other costs are beyond state and local tax contributions like post-secondary education, secondary schools, trade schools, parochial schools or private schools).
  • Special requirements of the obligor or the child (for example, if the child is mentally or physically disabled)
  • When the sum of child care, child support and spousal support is subtracted from the gross income, whether the balance of the obligor drop below the federal poverty level.
  • The Court deviates from the child support guidelines, if the income of the child's custodian become less than the federal poverty level.
  • The part of the income of the obligor is non-guaranteed or non-recurring income.

Generally, the payment of child support is ordered to ensure the fulfillment of future requirements of the child. It is an attempt to save the child from the insecure and neglected future after the divorce of parents. Child support duty comes to an end when the child enters the age of maturity. However, in exceptional cases the payment can be extended by the court order.

West Virginia Divorce Laws regarding Child Custody

The main intention of the Court is to enable the best interests of the child by facilitating -

  • Protection from exposure to emotional or physical harm.
  • Meaningful contact amongst each parent and the child.
  • Parental agreement and planning regarding the custodial arrangements and upbringing of the child
  • The child’s contact with mutual relatives of the partners who have love for the child, and who are aware of the requirements of the child.
  • Continuance of existing parent-child attachments
  • Stability of the child

A secondary aim is to attain fairness amongst the parents. Thus, the issue of child custody is solved by the court preferring the principle of justice to children and parents. The child custody can be of two types: Joint parent custody and single parent custody. Usually, joint custody is given priority by the court. But if any history of violence by any parent is observed by the court, then the single parent custody is ordered.


It is the duty of a partner to provide alimony - to the spouse who is financially weak than the other one. It is essential to arrange a sufficient source of income to the partner, who is unable to fulfill the routine requirements with existing income. The Court takes into account the following issues while finalizing the value of alimony -

  • The spouses expenses if their child is physically or mentally disabled.
  • The legal obligations of each partner to support self and any other person.
  • The economical requirements of each partner.
  • If any partner is the custodian of a child, and owing to this it is impractical to attend a job outside the house.
  • The effects of tax on each party.
  • Expenditures towards health care for the minor children as well as the parents.
  • The expenditure towards the education of minor children.
  • Any economical or other input made by one partner to enhance the earning ability, career, vocational skills, training and education of the other partner.
  • The possibility that the partner who requests for separate maintenance, child support or spousal support can undergo additional training and education in a reasonable time to considerably increase the income earning abilities.
  • The standard of living reached in marital life.
  • Whether the marriage has resulted in a postponement or cancelation or employment, education or economic chances of any partner.
  • Other issues which the Court considers essential.

Thus, the spousal support is finalized after judging all these aspects. The spousal support payment will be stopped if the partner requesting alimony goes for a second marriage or any such relation. West Virginia divorce laws are chalked in the best interest of the spouses and the children involved in the marriage.

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